Warming To Johnny Newton

April 23rd, 2024

Illinois DT Johnny Newton.

No, Joe has not given up hope the Bucs can find a pass rusher, even though Joe wouldn’t expect production from the guy this fall.

Rookie edge rushers, unless their names are “Bosa,” by and large don’t make a meaningful impact.

Still, Joe can hope.

The way Joe looks at it, if edge rushers Dallas Turner, Laiatu Latu and Jared Verse can get past No. 7 (it will help if four quarterbacks go Nos. 1-4), then Joe likes the odds one of those three can get to No. 20.

Starting at No. 20, that should be the shooting range for Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht to go hunt one of these guys down via a trade up.

But let’s say that doesn’t happen. That none slide to the 20s. What then?

More and more Joe is warming to Illinois defensive tackle Johnny Newton. This guy is just ferocious. And the way Joe sees it, since the Bucs selected and signed Lee Roy Selmon back in 1976, this franchise has not found a good edge rusher in the draft. Think about it.

So if there is no viable option to draft (Chop Robinson’s lack of production spooks the hell out of Joe — why should Joe expect a guy to get double-digit sacks in the NFL if he couldn’t in college?), Joe is inclined to pick Newton.

The Bucs should just take a page from the Eagles and build one of the most gnarly, tough, physical defensive lines in the NFL and bludgeon offensive lines to a pulp rendering them flaccid in the fourth quarter.

Besides, as a defensive tackle, Newton had more sacks in college than Robinson, an edge rusher. In the same conference.

Joe likes the idea of Calijah Kancey and Newton driving offenses nuts for the next 8-10 years.

For icing on the cake if the Bucs draft Newton at No. 26, Licht can then trade up in the second round and pick Colorado State pass rusher Mohamed Kamara.

33 Responses to “Warming To Johnny Newton”

  1. Dave Pear Says:

    Fig Newtons are good, but you gotta eat more than two. The suggested serving size is two. That’s like saying, split a Culver’s cheeseburger six ways and that’s your lunch for six.

    Um, no.

    Jason understands serving size and portion control. All faith in Jason.

    Now – the head coach getting anything out of the raw talent drafted? Huge question.

  2. Stanglassman Says:

    He’d be a hell of a consolation prize if JPJ and Barton were off the board. They could get Maholgeny and Van Pran in the 2nd and 3rd picks. They fill their pass rush with front four with DT, G and C right away. Get Rb USC Lloyd with their other 3rd and DE Mo Kamama in the 4th. Best WR and TE in Day 3. I really like KY Trevon Wallace LB in the 4th round too but DE is a more immediate need if Mo is on the board.

  3. Toad Bowels Says:

    Great article and insight Joe. I like it too.

    If you’re haven’t come up with a format for The mock draft with Sean Sullivan yet, i’d like to know for each pick, Steve, Lee, Ira and Sean’s first choice based on the players available, then the consensus pick with what you think the Bucs will most likely do based on the players available.

    Using draft software that proposes trades is fine, but please limit it to accepting 1 or 2 proposed trades at the most. On other mock drafts that I watched, The participants traded 10 times making a totally unrealistic picture of the draft.

    Thank you. Really looking forward to this upcoming podcast!!!

  4. Stanglassman Says:

    Wrs to keep an eye on late day 3. Marcus Rosemary Jacksaint UGA big position wr and is a really physical blocker. KY Wr Tavion Robinson he just gets open and has great hands. These are 7th round guys or guys I think if go undrafted the Bucs have a good chance of signing as UFAs due to our new coaches familiarity with them.

  5. OR Buc Says:

    Agreed Joe. I would settle for a disruptive DT instead of reaching in 1st and prioritize edge in Rd 2.

  6. OR Buc Says:

    That leave IOL, RB and ILB for rounds 2-4. WR +CB + TE late

  7. OR Buc Says:

    Correction Rounds 3-4

  8. Bring back the lawn chairs Says:

    You darn tooten
    We like fig newtons!
    Just get this draft over already.

  9. MadMax Says:

    Estime and Kamara with our 3rds….Trotter jr OR DT Sweat in the 4th

    Powers/Barton 1st
    Frazier or Bullard in the 2nd

  10. Joe in Michigan Says:

    I’d be okay with the Bucs drafting this guy…Do I think they will? My gut feeling is that they’re gonna take Ladd McConkey in a possible trade down. Take this with a grain of salt, I’m hardly ever right on Bucs draft picks that aren’t in the top 5.

  11. Dave Pear Says:

    Lots of people don’t know this but he has a younger brother in High Scjool who is a math genius and also lighting up the spring practices in southern Indiana, where they’re from. Izahacker Newton. Watch for him.

  12. WhatTheBuc Says:

    I don’t think Newton will be there at 26. Go watch his game against Penn State. He had multiple QB hits, 2 passes knocked down, at least one sack, and multiple tackles for loss, He’s a little light in the pants like Kancey though. I could imagine the 2 of them rushing the passer on 3rd and long. I really doubt this would happen but he’s very good.

  13. Bucs Guy Says:

    Newton feels like a choice of last resort if the Bucs must pick someone because Licht’s 5-7 players are off the board and they can’t find a trade down partner.

  14. SlyPiratr Says:

    Thursday can’t come fast enough

  15. Tony Marks Says:

    SlyPiratr Says:
    April 23rd, 2024 at 6:29 am
    Thursday can’t come fast enough

    The real action is three days away. round 2-3 is where this draft will be won or lost for the Bucs.. – unless someone special really slides

  16. Defense Rules Says:

    Walter Football ranks Newton (6’2″ & 304 lbs) as the #2 DT. Almost the exact same size as Warren Sapp (6’2″ & 303 lbs). If they’re correct in their analysis, he won’t be a Buc …

    4/23/24: Newton totaled 52 tackles, 7.5 sacks, one forced fumble and two passes batted in 2023. Team sources love Newton’s pass-rush ability and production. However, he gets destroyed in the ground game at times and also seems to turn his play on and off. If Newton were more consistent in his effort and run defense, he would be a definite first-rounder for the 2024 NFL Draft. As things stand, he is on the bubble between Rounds 1 and 2.

  17. Beeej Says:

    Imagine replacing Hall’s every-Sunday disappearing truck with this dude. Having a strong rush up the middle makes it easier for lesser-talented edges to get thru

  18. Burr Says:

    Trade up for Kamara in the 2nd!?! Most websites have him projected as a late 3rd to early 4th!

    I need some of what you’re having Joe!

  19. SB~LV Says:

    I would be very happy with this pick

  20. George R Says:

    The Bucs can go multiple ways on the 1st. Would it surprise anyone if the Bucs take one of the following.


    For some reason I feel the Bucs are going to draft a WR in the first. Jason always drafts for the future.

  21. SB~LV Says:

    I’d be happy with
    A great idea for a Joes article about the draft rather than the wizened game of trying to predict that is so popular.
    It’s easy and addictive to get caught up in the usual rankings and especially difficult to favor a player ahead of the mass consensus.
    As long as a high pick turns into a long term productive starter I am good!
    We’ll know soon enough and by Sunday afternoon the complete UDFA signings will be aboard and most will have adjusted to the new talent and be excited for the coming season

  22. Booger Says:

    John Lynch is all over him and the Niners are trading UP to secure him according to a SF Beat Writer.

  23. Booger Says:

    Might be the ‘sleeper’ pick of the first round. Continues to rise.

  24. Conner50 Says:

    Trade up in the second for Kamara who’s gonna be there in the third round? Glad Joe isn’t in control and Licht is

  25. geno711 Says:

    I get the point about the San Fran beat writer saying that Lynch is looking at Newton and will trade up. How often are those beat writers correct though…
    25 to 50% of the time?

    In 2019, everyone liked Nick Bosa as the most talented guy in the draft. He was a DE.

    Let’s look at the actual DTs that Lynch drafted.

    Solomon Thomas – 3rd overall. Miss.
    D.J. Jones – 6th round. Miss but 6th round.
    Julian Taylor – 7th round. Miss but 7th round.
    Javon Kinlaw – 1st round. Huge miss.
    Kalia Davis – 6th round. Miss but 6th round.

    So, while SF has a more super bowl ready team than us, it is not because of Lynch or his scouting department identifying DT’s so far.

  26. JimBobBuc Says:

    Per Draftteck:

    ” Jer’Zhan Newton was named First-team Associated Press All-American, Big Ten Conference Defensive Player of the Year, First-team All-Big Ten, and was a Finalist for the Nagurski Trophy. Over the last two seasons, he recorded 102 pressures – including 12 sacks – for a pass-rush win rate of 14.9%. “

  27. Troy Says:

    I’m a big Illini fan, so I’ve watch this kid play for the last couple of years. He’s a stud. Very hard worker and very humble. I never saw him slack or take plays off. He got doubled almost every play and he still caused havoc. The Bucs would be lucky to get him.

  28. Cobraboy Says:

    Do. Not. Reach.

    The edge class is sub-par.

  29. unbelievable Says:

    I agree about not reaching. Obviously Verse is the real deal, but he’s prob the only guy worth trading up for. And even then, it will prob cost too much.

    Otherwise, stay put or trade back. Wouldn’t mind adding another beastly DT either, in addition to some OL

  30. Saskbucs Says:

    I have really started to like this idea if the top 3 edge and Barton JPJ are gone. I’m starting to think maybe I would take him before the IOL and then do what needs to be done in round 2 to secure IOL.

    I read somewhere else he has a high motor. Maybe he was perceived to be slacking on plays cause he never comes off the field. I’m sure I saw numbers saying Murphy played like 65-70% of snaps in a Texas rotation and Newton played like 95%! Him Vea ans Kancey would be a lot of trouble up front. All of a sudden JTS and Diaby better be foaming at the mouth and producing!

  31. Saskbucs Says:

    I also don’t really want to trade up as we need all the picks. Let’s say Barton goes 20 to Pitt and JPJ, Newton and Latu are on the board… I think I sit tight and hope one of the 3 sneaks through. Miami, Philly and Minny/AZ/LA could wipe them out. Dallas and GB don’t worry me much.

    Hopefully teams are going QB crazy and we see 5 QBs, 4 WRs, and 6 OTs go in the first 17 picks, throw in Bowers, Murphy and a couple CBs… please unfold nicely like that !

  32. Shaun J Says:

    Here’s another way to look at it: who does Chop Robinson remind us all of? JTS. A guy who has excellent athleticism but can’t finish the job. JTS to this point is a solid rotational depth guy, but not a 1st round caliber talent – and his career high in sacks for a season is 5.

    I think we all want an elite edge rusher, but if Latu and Verse are gone by #26 as expected, let’s play out this hypothetical:

    Edge rusher who gets picked earlier than deserved because of need, never reaches his potential, averages 4.5 sacks per season.

    DT with a high motor who rarely gets gassed, gets 6.5 sacks per season, and also draws double teams and consistently wrecks entire plays.

    I’m not saying Newton is guaranteed to be the latter, but I think his floor is much higher than a guy like Chop. And if he ends up not only being far more consistent overall but also ends up actually exceeding the sack numbers of some of these shaky edge prospects, does it REALLY matter where the sacks come from?

  33. CTBucs Says: