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Greg Newsome II Drafted by Browns: Cleveland's Updated Depth Chart After Round 1

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorApril 30, 2021

Northwestern defensive back Greg Newsome II (2) in action against Stanford during the second half of an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019, in Stanford, Calif. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
Tony Avelar/Associated Press

Northwestern cornerback Greg Newsome II, who was a cornerstone for a Wildcats defense that allowed the fifth-fewest points per game in Division I FBS in 2020, is now a member of the Cleveland Browns after going No. 26 overall in the 2021 NFL draft.

    

Browns Defensive Depth Chart

LDE: Myles Garrett, Joe Jackson

DT: Jordan Elliott, Sheldon Day

DT: Andrew Billings, Malik Jackson

RDE: Jadeveon Clowney, Takkarist McKinley

OLB: Sione Takitaki, Malcolm Smith

MLB: Anthony Walker, Mack Wilson

OLB: Jacob Phillips, Elijah Lee

CB: Denzel Ward, MJ Stewart

CB: Greedy Williams, Greg Newsome II, Robert Jackson

NB: Troy Hill

FS: Grant Delpit, Jovante Moffatt

SS: John Johnson III, Ronnie Harrison

Depth chart info provided by Ourlads and Over the Cap.

        

Newsome played 21 games over three seasons for the Wildcats, amassing 25 pass breakups, 71 tackles and one interception. He had 10 pass breakups and a pick in 2020. The 6'1", 190-pound defensive back helped guide Northwestern to the Big Ten Championship Game, where the Wildcats gave the national champion runner-up Ohio State Buckeyes a great fight before losing 22-10.

Newsome left that game with a groin injury that prevented him from playing in the Citrus Bowl, per Drew Schott of the Daily Northwestern.

The Chicago native was named a consensus first-team All-Big Ten and third-team Associated Press All-American at the end of the season. Newsome earned those honors by working as a prototypical shutdown corner, with some stats from Pro Football Focus serving as examples of his excellent work:

Mike Renner @PFF_Mike

Northwestern CB Greg Newsome's coverage stats in his final four collegiate games: 1 Completion on 11 Targets, 7 yards, 1 INT, 4 PBUs

PFF Draft @PFF_College

Greg Newsome II allowed 0.44 yards per coverage snap in 2020 Lowest in the 2021 NFL Draft class https://t.co/NEhZzqhvgQ

He also allowed just 12 catches on 34 targets for 93 yards last year, per PFF.

Injuries are a concern, as Newsome also missed nine games in 2018 (ankle) and three games in 2019 (undisclosed). However, the B/R NFL Scouting Department thinks highly of his effort, ranking him third among cornerbacks in this year's draft and 23rd overall. Lance Zierlein of NFL.com compared Newsome to three-time Pro Bowl cornerback Darius Slay of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Newsome could translate his shutdown corner skills to the NFL with Cleveland, and it's possible we see him make an impact as early as Week 1.