Packers 2021 draft: Greg Newsome II can strengthen secondary

Greg Newsome II (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
Greg Newsome II (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /

If the NFC Championship Game made one thing clear, it’s that cornerback is a need for the Green Bay Packers.

Finding a starting partner for All-Pro Jaire Alexander should be one of the Packers’ top priorities this offseason. Even if the Packers sign a cornerback in free agency, adding a rookie early in the draft would also be a smart move.

One name to watch is Northwestern’s Greg Newsome II.

Some mock drafts have Newsome going in the early 20s while others have him falling as far as the Packers’ top pick at 29. But if he’s a player the Packers love, GM Brian Gutekunst has shown he’s more than happy to pull off a trade to move up in the first round.

In fact, Gutekunst has traded up in the first round in each of his three draft classes as general manager in Green Bay.

In his final two seasons at Northwestern, Newsome had 16 pass defenses, one interception, and one fumble recovery. Newsome is one of the best cornerbacks in the draft.

How about this for a stat? According to Pro Football Focus, Newsome allowed a passer rating of 0.0 on third and fourth down in 2020.

Kyle Crabbs of The Draft Network wrote that Newsome II “will offer an NFL franchise plenty of appeal as a potential starter on the perimeter”. Green Bay is a team in need of a starter on the outside, and Newsome could become that player.

Crabbs does note some durability concerns for Newsome which could cause him to slip in the draft, but when looking at his talent and potential in the NFL, Newsome could be another home-run pick for Gutekunst in the first round.

Sign a veteran cornerback in free agency. Draft Newsome. All of a sudden, the Packers’ cornerback situation looks a whole lot different next to All-Pro Alexander.