The Cleveland Browns have built a powerful offense and are now looking to create a formidable defense. They selected Northwestern cornerback Greg Newsome II with the 26th pick in the 2021 NFL draft.
One of the top cornerback prospects in the draft, it's no surprise Newsome was picked in the first round. According to Sports Info Solutions, he allowed only 10 catches and a 29% completion rate in 2020.
The Browns will be hoping that the improvements he showed in college will continue in the NFL.
How will Greg Newsome II help the Browns in his rookie year?
The Northwestern product is versatile and brings toughness to their run defense. NFL scouts project Newsome as a strong starter that can reach the next level.
What the Browns secondary lacked were turnovers and Newsome could be the game-changer they needed. He has veteran cornerback Joe Haden to learn from, which can only help him in his rookie year.
The Browns have a fearsome defensive front led by Myles Garrett and new free agent signing Javeon Clowney, so the opposing quarterback will be giving the Browns' secondary some opportunities for takeaways.
Predictions for Newsome's rookie season
Newsome only had one career interception in 20 career starts in college. The Browns coaching staff will have to work with him to improve his ball-handling skills.
He may not immediately start for the Browns and will be slowly introduced via nickel packages. If star defensive ends Garrett and Clowney can pressure the quarterback, then Newsome could be in a position to catch a few interceptions.
Newsome could not have asked to be drafted to a better team and situation. The Cleveland Browns are one of the most exciting young teams in the NFL. It will be interesting to see if the cornerback can help take their defense to the next level.