According to NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah, the Indianapolis Colts will select Northwestern cornerback Greg Newsome II with the 21st overall pick of the NFL Draft in his recent mock draft 2.0:
Greg Newsome II · CB
School: Northwestern | Year: Junior
Free agency could create a void at the position for Indy, and eams are very high on Newsome, a height-weight-speed corner.
It’s worth noting that Jeremiah projects the NFL Draft’s consensus top 3 quarterback prospects to go within the first four picks—making it increasingly difficult for the Colts to potentially trade up in such a scenario.
Regarding Newsome, the 6’1”, 190 pound junior cornerback recorded 12 tackles (8 solo), an interception, and 9 pass breakups during 6 starts for the Wildcats in 2020—earning First-Team All-Big Ten honors.
Here’s Jeremiah’s scouting report on Newsome, who he currently ranks as this year’s NFL Draft’s 40th best prospect overall:
40) Greg Newsome II, CB
School: Northwestern | Year: Junior
Newsome is a tall, agile cornerback. He played a lot of off coverage in Northwestern’s scheme. He stays crouched in his pedal and is always under control. He’s fluid when he opens up to turn and carry vertical routes. He stays in phase and he can locate/play the ball. He doesn’t have an explosive plant/drive, but he does have the awareness to anticipate throws. He has excellent instincts versus the run and pass. Against the run, he will hang on blocks too long at times, but he is a solid tackler once he frees himself. I expect Newsome to develop into a reliable starting cornerback very early in his NFL career.
Here’s what else they’re saying on Newsome:
Finishing up my report on #Northwestern CB Greg Newsome tonight. Good chance he finishes as my CB4.— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) February 16, 2021
Fluid, quick and highly intelligent. NW hasn't had a top-40 draft pick since 2005. Good chance that changes in April.
#Northwestern CB Greg Newsome II (6-0, 188) gets my vote for the prospect that we see drafted earlier than expected.— Jordan Reid (@Jordan_Reid) February 9, 2021
This is a really good corner prospect. Inside/out versatility, fast feet, high IQ, little wasted motion, physical, and has ball skills. pic.twitter.com/6YquvwNyAR
Newsome was outstanding this season as a lockdown cover corner. In addition to the physical skill set, he’s got all the confidence in the world to do it on Sundays. Justin Fields wasn’t throwing his way on Saturday for a reason. https://t.co/6KukTqenpu— Kevin Fishbain (@kfishbain) December 21, 2020
Working on Senior Bowl prospects this week but snuck in some underclassmen tape too.— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) January 21, 2021
Here are my CB ranks
1 Patrick Surtain II
2 Caleb Farley
3 Jaycee Horn
4 Tyson Campbell
5 Elijah Molden
6 Eric Stokes
7 Greg Newsome II
8 Kary Vincent, Jr
9 Asante Samuel
10 Allie Green
Northwestern CB Greg Newsome II over his last 3 games— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) December 6, 2020
▪️ 77 coverage snaps
▪️ 11 targets
▪️ 1 catch allowed (7 yards)
▪️ 1 INT pic.twitter.com/U55PELsJfu
Greg Newsome II when targeted 10+ yards downfield:— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) February 3, 2021
1 reception allowed
0 TDs / 1 INT
11.8 passer rating pic.twitter.com/gwXxxG0cPe
Of course, the Colts could use another long-term answer at starting outside cornerback.
While slot stud Kenny Moore is anchoring the inside for the foreseeable future, the Colts have a pair of key veteran free agent corners on the outside: Xavier Rhodes (30) and T.J. Carrie (30)—both of whom aren’t getting any younger, even if re-signed this offseason respectively as short-term stopgaps.
Meanwhile, former 2019 second round pick Rock Ya-Sin endured a ‘sophomore slump’ for the Colts at cornerback during his second pro season and needs to better maintain his physicality without being too grabby downfield—as he was generally in good position to make a play in coverage (and didn’t need all of the ‘extracurricular’ contact).
Even though starting quarterback, left tackle, and edge remain greater offseason priorities (especially with the Colts playing a Cover 2 derivative zone coverage—which is more scheme dependent), outside cornerback should be significantly addressed again at some point this offseason one way or the other—and rightfully so.
The Colts don’t want to focus too much on need and risk losing the actual best player available on the draft board at #21 either.
Whether that’s Newsome or not, he remains a top cornerback prospect to watch for the Colts early on in the 2021 NFL Draft.