The Arizona Cardinals hold the 16th pick in the 2021 NFL draft, which will be held in a little more than two weeks. The position getting the most attention has been cornerback, as there are three players considered the best — Alabama’s Patrick Surtain, South Carolina’s Jaycee Horn and Virginia Tech’s Caleb Farley.
Horn has been mocked to the Cardinals a lot. Surtain is not expected to be available with the 16th pick and some believe Farley’s back surgery makes him too risky to pick at No. 16.
However, there is another cornerback who should be under consideration — Northwestern’s Greg Newsome Jr.
He has the size, the physical traits and some really good tape.
Here are his measurable:
- Height: 6-foot-0
- Weight: 192 pounds
- Arm length: 31 1/8 inches
- Hands: 8 7/8 inches
- 40-yard dash: 4.38 seconds
- Bench press: 18 reps
- Broad jump: 123 inches
- 3-cone drill: 6.90 seconds
- 20-yard shuttle: 4.26 seconds
According to Pro Football Focus, he did not allow a single catch for more than 20 yards last season and he allowed just 12 catches on 34 targets and fewer than 100 yards all season on 387 defensive snaps.
NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah had good things to say about Newsome.
“He’s easy to watch,” he said in a conference call. “I mean, he’s always in phase. He’s always in position, what we like to call being in phase. You never see a lot of separation there with him in his assignments. He’s really clean from that standpoint. He’s so smooth. I think there was some question about just how fast he was, and sometimes we see guys like that. Well, he’s as fast as he needs to be.
“I was talking with a GM the other day about him, and he said they were having their draft meetings, and he said, We all kind of questioned his speed and then we went around the room and we said, Do you have any examples
of anybody running away from him? Well, no. I don’t see anybody running away from him.”
His pro day results take away any questions about his speed. He does have some injury concerns, so this might be a red flag.
“You’ve got to make sure everything is good there from a durability
standpoint, but size, length, speed, ball skills. There’s a lot to like there.”
Cornerbacks go quickly in the draft these days. It should be a priority in the draft for the Cardinals. But if Farley is going to be someone to consider, Newsome should also be on their radar and selecting him shouldn’t be all that out of the question.
Listen to the latest from Cards Wire’s Jess Root on his podcast, Rise Up, See Red. Subscribe on Apple podcasts or Spotify.
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