2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Greg Newsome


Northwestern has seen a bit of a resurgence in the Big-Ten. Now, they may see two of their players selected in the first round. Of course, Rashawn Slater has been in the conversation as the best offensive tackle in the class over Penei Sewell. Not only do they have a potential first-round pick on offense, but they have one on defense as well. Greg Newsome has seen a steady rise throughout the draft process and is now in contention as a backend first-round selection. 

Make sure to check out all of our other 2021 NFL Draft Scouting Reports.

Player Bio 

Name: Greg Newsome

Jersey: #2

Position: Cornerback


School: Northwestern 

Class: Junior

Height: 6’1”

Weight: 190 lbs

Man Coverage (8.25/10) 

Newsome can mirror any receiver that comes close to him. He has good enough athleticism to stick with some quicker receivers in college football. His length helps him in this regard as he can run step-by-step with the receiver who is tasked with covering. Man coverage wasn’t his specialty as the opposing quarterbacks wouldn’t look his way for the majority of the 2020 season. 

Zone Coverage (9.25/10) 

Half-turn Bail coverage was Newsome’s specialty. He could easily watch the quarterback’s eyes and read and react as a result of him playing away from the line of scrimmage. Newsome sees the field very well and has an expanded knowledge which will be more expanded going into the next level. 

Change of Direction (8.75/10) 

Newsome can flip his hips in the blink of an eye. If he feels like a receiver is coming into his area, he can quickly be right on their hip and make a play on the ball. 

Ball Skills (9/10) 

Only one career interception, but again, that doesn’t tell the whole story. Newsome had 21 pass breakups over his last 15 games. He is always step-by-step with his receiver and can make a play on the ball at the catch point at any given time. Newsome does have a time or two when he is too early at timing the breakup on the ball. There were a few pass interference calls as a result. With more balls thrown his way, Newsome will have elite ball production at the next level. 

Fluidity (9/10) 

Newsome can turn and run with any receiver that he faced in the 2020 season. Not many times did receivers get the best of him off the line of scrimmage or at the break in their routes. Newsome is a sticky cornerback that won’t allow many to get the best of him. 

Run Support (7.25/10) 

While Newsome will stick his nose in on some run plays, it is very inconsistent. He seems to be a bit timid on wanting to make a tackle if there are other defenders around the ball-carrier. There were plenty of occasions where Newsome would be jogging to the ball-carrier and wouldn’t have the closing speed to make a tackle on the runner. His run support is the biggest weakness in his game currently. 

Tackling (8.25/10) 

Newsome is a bit inconsistent in this regard. He has to be heads up on the ball-carrier for him to make a tackle without many issues. When he’s tasked with making a tackle with the receiver running sideline-to-sideline, he has some struggles. 

Route Recognition (8.75/10) 

On a lot of plays, Newsome seems to be one step ahead of the receiver on getting to the ball and running their routes for them. He has a good understanding of route concepts and has the length to make sure he can intervene at the catch point with any receiver. 

Athleticism (8.75/10) 

His fluidness helps him greatly here. The only concern here could be his long speed, which wasn’t needed in 2020 because opposing quarterbacks didn’t attack Newsome deep down the field. His short-area quickness is great. 

Confidence (4.5/5) 

Newsome seems to know that he is one of the best players in the game at all times. When quarterbacks don’t throw his way, he seems to get bored and starts jogging. Newsome’s lack of wanting to be an avid run defender makes this trait take a bit of a knock. 

Injury (3.5/5) 

Newsome has missed 13 games during his time at Northwestern, including the Big-Ten Championship in 2020. This is a concern, and it may keep him out of the first round. 

Player Summary 

Newsome has the chance to make there be two first-round selections from Northwestern. There are plenty of cornerback-needy teams in the backend of the first round. That includes the Green Bay Packers, with who he has already had a visit. Newsome’s strengths are in his athleticism, zone coverage, and route recognition, which far outweigh his weaknesses in run support and his durability concerns. He is a cornerback that will only play on the boundary, as his skill set doesn’t match the nickel cornerback spot. 

Final Grade (85.25/100): Early Second Round 

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Main Image Credit:

Embed from Getty Images


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