Most football fans know about the growing buzz surrounding Patrick Surtain II. Asante Samuel Jr.’s film tape provides factual evidence of an innate instinctual skillset that more than lives up to his heralded family tree. And Caleb Farley has had scouts salivating over his ball coverage skills for a number of years.
But there’s another less-touted name that is beginning to skyrocket its way up scouting boards – and that’s for meritorious good reason.
The name: Greg Newsome II. The college: Northwestern. The talent and tools? Potentially capable of developing him into a lockdown primary island-monger – and perhaps the premier corner of this year’s draft class.
Greg Newsome II allowed a 0.0 passer rating on 3rd/4th down last season.— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) February 18, 2021
Only CB in the Draft class to do so. pic.twitter.com/4GAJeHS1BS
Sport DFW’s Reid Hanson posted a strikingly interesting seven-round mock draft projection that – in a surprise move – saw Dallas trade down from their 10th slot in exchange for the Jets’ 23rd, 34th and 86th overall selections.
The move would net the Cowboys three picks in the top 100, creating an avenue for acquisition of a possible game-changer at the cornerback position, while allowing them to bolster other key areas that would lack in prospective depth as the draft wears on.
But who exactly is this unknown commodity that’s divulged himself out of the woodwork, and onto several first-round big boards?
Newsome II is a product of the widely-respected IMG Academy, a preparatory boarding school that sports state-of-the-art multi-million dollar training facilities, with a specific focus on developing the country’s top high school athletes.
He was rated a three-star recruit by 247 Sports, and the 62nd best corner in the class of 2018. But high-profile coaching visits were not abundantly bountiful for the Illinois native, and Newsome II committed to play for the Wildcats in April 2017.
Now, Northwestern isn't necessarily known for its football tradition, nor does it boast lavish equipment and high-tech amenities. Despite the lack of program prestige though, Newsome’s play spoke voraciously for itself, and he quickly established himself as a name to remember – especially during his Big 10 matchups.
He posted 71 total tackles through his three years with the Cats, making huge headway into the national spotlight with a whopping nine pass deflections in a COVID-shortened 2020 campaign.
His stats were a consummate demonstration of a fleet-footed cover stalwart, but scouts were forced to pay attention after he received the honor of all honors: an All-American tabbing.
On Newsome II, The Draft Network had this to say:
Greg Newsome II is an exciting cornerback prospect who will offer an NFL franchise plenty of appeal as a potential starter on the perimeter. Newsome II has showcased strong ball skills and length to pair with high-end levels of flexibility and functional athleticism—that’s a blend that is going to get Newsome II drafted sooner rather than later.
Newsome II is instinctual and offers suddenness in split decisions in coverage; frequently driving to the target and attacking the football in the air. He brings the right kind of attitude to perimeter play both in collision routes and in run support and tackling at the line of scrimmage, but his aggressive angles will need a little work to ensure he’s secured tackles at the catch point before attempting to attack the football and undercut throws. This is a very gifted player.
The predictions all point to a very high ceiling for Newsome II, but nothing can be determined until he steps foot on an NFL field.
How do you feel about the former Wildcat’s possible consolidation with Cowboys nation?