Lots of buzz on #Northwestern CB Greg Newsome II lately and it's well deserved. One of the best CB's in this draft. A first round talent.— Justin M (@JustinM_NFL) February 26, 2021
Newsome has met virtually with the following: #Titans, #Packers, #Chiefs, #Jaguars, #Buccaneers, #Saints & #49ers just to name a few.
At this writing (before the new league year), the Chiefs have eight cornerbacks on their roster: Charvarius Ward, Bashaud Breeland, L’Jarius Sneed, Rashad Fenton, Antonio Hamilton, Alex Brown and DeAndre Baker. Breeland and Hamilton will become unrestricted free agents on March 17. At the same time, Ward will become a restricted free agent, while Brown will become an exclusive rights free agent.
Breeland, 29, missed the first four games of the Chiefs’ regular season, but upon his return, played nearly all of the team’s snaps at right cornerback. He totaled 688 snaps on the season. Breeland came back to the Chiefs on a one-year deal last offseason when the market did not develop as he hoped. He has been seeking a big contract since his 2018 contract with the Carolina Panthers was voided, and it is doubtful he returns to the Chiefs, who need to spread an already-limited cap to fix other problems.
Hamilton, 28, played limitedly for the defense but was a key special teamer for Dave Toub. It is reasonable to think that Hamilton could be back if the two sides can come to an agreement.
Looking past Breeland and Hamilton, the Chiefs have an outside cornerback they like but could potentially be upgraded in Ward, as well as a steal-of-the-2020-draft candidate in the fourth-rounder, Sneed. Fenton provides depth both inside and outside, Baker is a candidate to start at outside corner and Brown likely profiles into more of a special teams role.
The Chiefs can still use another good, young (and cheap) cornerback or two, and that is why they likely have interest in the 6-foot-1, 190-pound Newsome II.
Thoughts from the AP Draft Team (Kent Swanson)
Newsome II is a very intriguing cornerback prospect whose stock has continued to rise as people get more eyes on the Northwestern product. He’s got the requisite length and athleticism for a Steve Spagnuolo corner. He’s a fluid mover with good change-of-direction ability — and strong in zone coverage. What’s more is Newsome is a willing participant in the run game. If the Chiefs are going to grab Newsome, they’ll need to take him in the top 50 picks — be it a first-round pick (at No. 31) or a trade-up from 63 in the second round.
In three years at Northwestern over 17 games, Newsome II compiled 20 passes defensed and an interception. He was named first-team All-Big Ten for his final season in 2020.
The Chiefs are projected for eight picks in the 2021 NFL Draft, which begins on Thursday, April 29.
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