The Chicago Bears were at the Northwestern Pro Day recently, which sparked a conversation of Rashaan Slater to Chicago. While Slater may be going too high, the Bears may have also had eyes on a different prospect from Northwestern. His teammate, cornerback Greg Newsome, turned just as many heads with a strong performance.
Newsome grew up in Chicago before moving to Florida for high school. Still, he came back to the area to play at NW. Is this a player that should be on the Chicago Bears radar?
Strengths to Greg Newsome play that can translate to NFL
Greg Newsome is likely best as a zone corner, but the biggest thing he showed at Northwestern is that he can handle a variety of different looks and schemes. He is a heady player, who knows how to line up and use leverage when in man compared to zone.
In zone, Newsome has great instincts and does a great job of passing his man off, and staying disciplined. In man, you see quick feet that can stop on a dime and mirror with wide receivers who make multiple moves.
One of the best traits Newsome possesses is his ability to transition from playing his man to finding the ball down the field. This was highlighted in the clip here. You can see he does a great job of recovering and finding the ball. Still, he is also feisty near the line of scrimmage and is not afraid to press or get physical against the run. His versatility and overall well-rounded game make him a coveted prospect.
Weaknesses that Greg Newsome must work on in NFL
Newsome plays with a physical demeanor, but at times can be grabby and bumpy at the top of routes. He also is never fearless in playing the run, but at his size, he needs to have a better technique to get bigger runners on the ground. He saw players bounce off him at NW, and will only have it happen more often if he does not clean that up.
Lastly, he may be better off in zone because he did not spend much time running with receivers over the middle. He held down his outside spot well, but at times was hesitant to follow receivers, and while he had the speed to catch up after the catch, most of his issues in defense came on crossing and drag routes.
NFL Comparison for Greg Newsome
Greg Newsome recently went through his Pro Day testing. Even if you discount for the Pro Day compared to the combine, his size, and athleticism put him in strong company overall.
Names that stand out with similar measurables include Marcus Trufant, Devin McCourty, Jason McCourty, Bradey Roby, and Ronald Darby. There are similarities in a lot of their games, and there are not many picks with high draft capital that turn out to be complete whiffs.
From not only a physical but also an on-field perspective, the best comparison is Jason McCourty. The two both have such quick feet but do not only play fast but think fast. Like McCourty, Newsome can excel in a variety of schemes and can always be trusted to be in the right spot, and within range of his man if the ball is thrown his way.
Maybe Jason McCourty is not an All-Pro every season, but holds his own, and has been a consistent reliable corner for over a decade.
Does Greg Newsome fit with Chicago Bears?
There is a huge if to caveat this, but if Kyle Fuller were somehow traded to help save on the cap, Newsome would be a great replacement. They match each other in their playstyle and physicality and like Fuller, Newsome typically is comfortable on his side and avoids going over the middle.
Of course, with Fuller, the Bears would need Newsome to fall to the point where he is the clear best player available. At the end of the day, another cornerback would be overkill for a roster that is devoid of offensive talent.
Greg Newsome is going to start in the NFL, and likely next season. At the lowest, he would fall to the Chicago Bears second-round pick and at that point, they may not be able to pass him up. However, at this point, he is going to be too rich and luxury for the Chicago Bears if they have to consider him at pick 20.