Jonathan Newsome may have only spent a few seasons in Muncie, but he'll have a long-lasting impact. The former Ohio State linebacker made All-MAC second team in 2012 in his first season with Ball State, then first team All-MAC this past season.
In just under two full seasons as a Cardinal he totaled 115 tackles, (24 tackles-for-loss) and 16.5 sacks. He also totaled one arrest for marijuana possession and a run-in with the cops for attempting to shoplift "boner pills". As I said, his impact will be long lasting.
But college is over for Newsome, a player who transferred out of OSU after limited action in his first two seasons with the Buckeyes, but flourished as a defensive end (and occasionally OLB) at Ball State. At 6-foot-3, 247 pounds, Newsome is going to have to move positions at the next level. He doesn't have the size or strength to play with his hand in the dirt, and instead projects as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense, which in reality can be nothing more than a standup defensive end.
The good news for Newsome is while he may come with a checkered past, and he will have to switch positions, he did fairly well at the NFL Combine where Warren Sapp was drooling over Newsome's performance as if a big payday for the prospect would somehow erase Sapp's debts.
|40 Yard Dash
|3 Cone Drill
|33 1/4 in
Newsome is quick off the line, with a fantastic burt. He's got a good wingspan which makes it easy to wrap up, and he has good technique. His experience at both OLB and DE would make him a versatile piece in the right defense that could occasionally be plugged in at end. He's not afraid of getting dirty in the run defense game.
But he's far from a fantastic athlete, at least compared to other outside linebacker prospects. At the combine he was noticeably stiff in his hips when going through linebacker drills. They looked foreign to him, and he'll need to improve his agility. Strength is also an issue. This GIF or Jordan Lynch flinging him like a rag doll illustrates that point. Compared to fellow MAC OLB prospect his instincts and athleticism don't stack up.
But he was never going to be a Top 3 overall pick, like Mack. Newsome has drive, he has potential. With the right coaches, in the right system he could develop into a fantastic pass rusher and god OLB. NFL Draft experts currently have him ranked anywhere from 23rd to high 20s amongst his peers as a projected 7th round Draft pick.
He'll get on an NFL roster, and combined with Willie Snead and Keith Wenning could give the Cardinals three players drafted this year.