Going Cornerback

April 28th, 2021

Northwestern CB Greg Newsome.

A guy who actually does put thought into his mock drafts and taps his many contacts in the NFL to put the puzzle together has the Bucs making an interesting choice at No. 32 tomorrow night — tomorrow night!

Albert Breer of SI.com has the Bucs going cornerback and selecting Northwestern’s Greg Newsome.

32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Greg Newsome, CB, Northwestern

The Bucs are going to have some of their young corners coming up for contracts, and with all 22 starters coming back, the champs have flexibility to get ahead of that problem. Newsome strikes me as similar to the guys they drafted last year (Tristan Wirfs, Antoine Winfield Jr.)—very grown up and ready to contribute on a big stage.

So what is Breer suggesting? That Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht has suddenly fallen in love with B1G players?

The first thing Joe thought of is if this Newsome went to Northwestern, you figure he has to be smart, and Northwestern defenses are usually sound defensively. They may not have the athletes that Ohio State or Penn State have, so they have to play smart ball with good fundamentals.

Of course, on the flip side Joe was trying to think of the last time the Bucs drafted a corner from a school that was considered intellectually elite. Then Joe thought of a corner from Vanderbilt that former Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik drafted.

Myron Lewis.

Off to the analysts we go for background on Newsome. First up, Dane Brugler of The Athletic has Newsome as his No. 3 corner in his draft guide, “The Beast.”

STRENGTHS: Balanced athlete with nimble feet and the lower body muscles to spring in any direction…fluid hip turn to stay under control and in phase…matches receivers off the line and out of breaks…pedal quickness to collect-and-close…heightened cover awareness with NFL eyes to map receivers up and down the field…high football IQ…has a knack for finding passing lanes…plays through the hands of receivers to create incompletions…calms his feet downhill to square up ball carriers as a tackler and get them on the ground…takes it personally when completions happen and the coaches praise his competitive confidence (Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald: “He’s got a short memory and a quick fuse”)…zero touchdowns allowed in 2020…got his hands on a lot of passes in college with 25 passes defended in only 21 games played.

SUMMARY: A three-year starter at Northwestern, Newsome was the left cornerback in former defensive coordinator Mike Hankwitz’s man/zone scheme, lining up primarily from off-coverage. After leading the team in passes defended (11) as a sophomore, he was No. 1 in the Big Ten in passes defended (10) as a junior and led the FBS in passer rating against (15.77) — of the 10 completions he allowed in 2020, only one was 10-plus yards downfield. With his agile footwork and anticipation, Newsome attaches himself to receivers and stays under control in coverage. He has terrific eyes to sort and make plays, but he needs to turn the pass break-ups into interceptions. Overall, Newsome comes with durability concerns, especially against the rigors of the NFL, but he is a route magnet with fluid transitions and natural instincts. He projects as a press-man NFL starter as a rookie.

Couple of things jump out in his bio. First, Newsome grew up on the southside of Chicago. Joe will just say it’s a good bet that Newsome is one tough SOB. He later went to school at an upper-middle-class suburban Chicago high school and then transferred to IMG Academy in Bradenton. So he will be used to playing football in the west-central Florida sauna.

Also, Newsome allowed no touchdowns this past season. None. And let’s look at some of the teams Newsome and the Wildcats played: Minnesota (Rashod Bateman) and Ohio State (Chris Olave). While Northwestern played Purdue, and Auburn in the Citrus Bowl, Rondale Moore did not play against Northwestern and Newsome sat out the Citrus Bowl.

Newsome is an even 6-feet tall and runs a 40-yard dash in 4.38.

Joe’s good friend Emory Hunt, the Czar of the Playbook, has Newsome as his No. 6 corner in his 2021 Football Gameplan Draft Guide.

– Very physical corner from start to finish. Really makes life complicated for a WR each rep. Strong in press coverage, and has the length to contest every catch.
– Can effectively stab-and-turn with receivers, showing the ability to pin them to the sidelines.
– Has sticky man-to-man coverage. It feels as if the WRs are not able to separate from him.

Areas of Improvement:
– Can be a bit too physical, drawing penalties from holding, to illegal contact, to pass interference. He’ll have to become much more judicious on when he puts his hands on the WR.
– In zone coverage, when he’s playing off, he can get stuck trying to come out of his break or backpedal. He’ll have to quicken up that process moving forward. It’s tied to his inconsistent footwork.

So let’s see. Newsome grew up where he had to be a tough mofo just to survive. He’s already played in Florida. He was a shutdown corner in college. He’s smart. He’s tall. He’s fast as hell and physical. He can also play man coverage. And, he’s not afraid to blast a ballcarrier when necessary. What’s there not to like?

It’s not like the Bucs need him to start right away. The Bucs can groom him like they did with Jamel Dean.

Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht could probably do a whole lot worse than this Newsome.

Something tells Joe this guy is a far cry from gutless Myron Lewis.

27 Responses to “Going Cornerback”

  1. Swampbuc Says:

    I think at least 30 players have been projected for the Bucs. This kid is probably a mid-early 2nd rounder but not that big of a reach. If Licht and Arians like someone I’m good.

  2. All lives matter Says:

    @32 I hope they grab the best rated player available on the board regardless of position. It doesn’t matter since all positions could use some infusion. When you shop for need you sometimes lose out on other players that are more talented. Trust me the revisionist love going back and picking on GM’s about who they should’ve drafted.

  3. Pickgrin Says:

    Edge or CB makes a lot of sense to me for the Bucs 1st pick.

    You can’t have too many good CBs or pass rushers on your team.

    Either position will allow rotational game reps this year from a 1st round talent.

    Whereas a position like ILB or OL would have a tough time getting on the field this year unless a starter gets injured…..

  4. JGhotier Says:

    While not my preference, I’m not against drafting secondary whatsoever

    And Joe, you are absolutely right about Northwestern fielding really cerebral players. Pat Fitzgerald is a good Coach too.

    It’s too bad Paddy Fisher wasn’t athletic (which he’s not at all). If he was athletic like Davis, JOK, Bolton, Parsons is, you start drawing some lofty comparisons w/ his smarts, size and ultra-production at NW. He’d be a 1st round pick no doubt.

  5. JimmyJack Says:

    I would be excited if we added a 1st Round DB.

    Bowles has a great system for young secondary players. He has a phenomenal track record developing DBs(perhaps one of the best if all time?). Bowles has lived up to his rep here in Tampa. I think its safe to give Todd Bowles credit for developing Carlton. Mike Smith didnt had a clue.

    I think most look at the OLB as a bigger need because of age of JPP but why cant you bring in another high profile vet if JPP decides to retire? Or make another trade?…….I say get this corner and pkay into the strength of your coaching staff. Not a bad plan.

  6. JGhotier Says:

    Tay Gowan gonna be a later round steal at CB I think. 6’2” w/ 4.4 speed, so he fits the Bucs DB mold (name to keep an eye on)

    I’m way too excited for this draft. C’mon Thursday!

  7. Joe Says:

    I think most look at the OLB as a bigger need because of age of JPP but why cant you bring in another high profile vet if JPP decides to retire?

    Rarely do those players become available. Not every GM is as reckless as Dave Gettleman.

  8. SlyPirate Says:

    OMFG … Make it stop. We all feel for you, Joe. Thank you for persevering. You’re the ultra marathoner of blogging. Thursday can’t come soon enough.

  9. Joe in Michigan Says:

    I saw an interview where Greg Newsome Jr. said that basketball was his first love and he played football because of “opportunities”. I’m not saying that means he doesn’t love football and that the Bucs won’t draft him, but Jason Licht has made it clear of what the Bucs look for in their draft picks.

  10. MadMax Says:

    Eh, end of 2nd, ok.

  11. Stanglassman Says:

    Mad max-

    Would you be okay with Newsome if they took Landon Dickerson with #64? Seems more realistic to me than the other way around. The Bucs would be fortunate if Newsome somehow dropped to #32.

    *If I was forced to guess the day one pick I believe this is it. Cb and Newsome is the most likely premium player/position to good to fall that the Bucs won’t be able to turn down. Even for the 6th best edge or great center who can’t stay healthy.

  12. BradyBucs Says:


    We *should* draft a corner at #32. But better than that, we should try and MOVE UP in the 1st round if we can to get one of the better corner prospects.

    No more 2nd and 3rd round corners. Outside of the top few elite corners in a draft the rest are such a crapshoot. We’ve wasted so many draft picks (outside of the 1st round) on corners and most haven’t panned out to become elite. Some ‘decent’ but not elite.

    It’s a PASSING LEAGUE. We need stud corners. We had trouble stopping teams for most of last season due to our weak corners.

    ROUND 3: DT
    ROUND 4: OL/DT

  13. DaBux Says:

    “Durability concerns”

    Hard pass.

  14. Joe in Michigan Says:

    BradyBucs: Do you remember when the Bucs were running a scheme that didn’t fit their cornerbacks strengths? Do you remember the difference when they started running a scheme that fit the CB’s strengths? Do you think that had something to do with the way they looked?
    You said it, it’s a passing league. All cornerbacks get beat, especially rookie cornerbacks. Who are you drafting in this year’s draft that’s better than Davis, Dean, and Bunting in his rookie year?

  15. Stanglassman Says:

    I remember when the Bucs had their cbs play 15 yards off the line regardless the down and distance.

    I think the 1st round or top tier cutoff is S. Samual. Newsome is definitely in that top tier. The bigger question is will he last to 32.

  16. JGhotier Says:


    What Joe in Michigan said, also…

    We finished 7th in the league in pass Defense (8th overall), and that’s w/ the #1 ranked run defense where nobody even attempted to run on us most of the time. Or they abandoned the run game after the 1st quarter, meaning they just threw the ball the rest of the game. Teams threw on us probably more than almost every other team out there due to this. So passing numbers would be inflated, it’s a passing league like you said and yet we still finished 7th in pads D. I think they played just fine and are growing and will only get better.

    Add in the fact that we threw the ball a lot and take shots more than a lot of teams, which in turn can slow down the clock and give the other team more opportunities to play offense and subsequently pass the ball more on us. Yet we still finished 7th in pass D.

    We also had some nice leads (per NFL standards) in games, or were winning games towards the end of them and that’ll have the opposing offenses throwing the ball more on you.

    I think you’re selling their play short from last year. Especially the last 1/2 of the year and when it mattered most in the Playoffs. Not to mention we beat and held Brees, Rodgers and Mahomes in check consecutively down the stretch.

  17. lambeau Says:

    Great pick if he’s still there at #32–unlikely, so it’s worth trading up for him. Truth is, corner is the thinnest group on the team.

  18. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Oh Mylew…..Shelton Quarles was also from Vanderbilt so we went 1-2 on Vandy picks…
    We can hang Mylew (among others)….on the “Pop Star, Dominick.

  19. Mike Honcho Says:

    I’d be cool with this pick if that’s what they do, but in this particular mock, Zaven Collins is still on the board. If I’m picking, Collins doesn’t get past us if he’s there.

  20. Ash Says:

    He will not be there at 32 too many teams need cbs would love to draft him at 32 if falls but I doubt it

  21. Mike Says:

    I would not be upset with a corner or safety, but I think the Bucs will continue to add beef to either the D Line or the O Line in round 1.

  22. Vitor Brasil bucs fan Says:

    Erick Stokes or Tyson Campbell
    Azeez Ojulari
    Christian Barmore
    Kyle Trask

  23. Ash Says:

    I like tyson campbell alot wouldn’t hate him at 32

  24. unbelievable Says:

    Sounds like he could be a stud with a little refi ember to his technique. I wouldn’t be mad about drafting him.

    But mentioning Myron Lewis gives me flashbacks of nightmares. It’s too early for me to start drinking, Joe!

  25. unbelievable Says:

    *refinement to his technique

  26. Randell Jackson Phares Says:

    I think they would have to move up to get Newsom, might get Samuel though, and he might very well be as good or better, seriously!

  27. NCFlorIdiot Says:

    Southside of Chicago… Corn fields of Nebraska… Both places produce tough and weak men… Doesn’t matter… It’s what’s within, determination… How go you grade that?