The Eagles have a history of developing late round talent and May's NFL Draft will be another shot for Philadelphia add some more gems. The team is likely to address major needs early, but there is a chance that the board forces them to go in other directions. The Eagles are likely to target a pass rusher on the first two days, but if they decide to add more youth to the position or pass early, they could look to go for a low round player with upside. Ball State's Jonathan Newsome is a prospect that is rough around the edges but could turn out to be a hidden treasure in the draft.
A Cleveland, Ohio native, Newsome started his career at Ohio State in 2009. As a true freshmen, he played in just five games and collected five tackles. In his second season as a Buckeye, Newsome played in all 13 games and produced 14 tackles. Academic issues caused Newsome to miss Spring practice and he transferred to Ball State in 2011.
After redshirting his first year with Ball State, Newsome was named second team All-MAC after playing in 11 games (10 starts) and collecting 51 tackles (12.5 for loss) and 8.5 sacks. He produced those numbers despite missing the first two games of the season because of a marijuana possession arrest that led to a suspension. In his final year of college football, Newsome was a first team All-MAC selection after producing 64 tackles and eight sacks in 12 games (11 starts).
Weight: 247 lbs
Arm Length: 33 1/4"
Hands: 9 5/8"
40: 4.73 seconds
Bench: 21 reps
Vertical Jump: 34.0 inches
Broad Jump: 117.0 inches
3 Cone: 7.31 seconds
Shuttle: 4.63 seconds
Newsome showed versatility in college and was used at both defensive end and outside linebacker in a 4-3 defense. He has a good initial burst and likes to attack inside and around the edge. He got solid pressure at the college level and was also used in coverage at times. He favors the bull rush and he has the ability to get to his spot quickly. He is good at hustling and will tackle in the run game. He would be ideal for a hybrid defense where his versatility could be taken advantage of frequently.
The strength could be a bit better for Newsome. He has okay instincts and is not great with his hands when it comes to getting around blocks. He seems to have mental errors at times against the run and will be run over at times by big defensive linemen. His hips are a bit tight and he tends to rush upright. He had both academic and legal issues while in school.
The Eagles are all about position battles and adding a player like Newsome will only improve the team's depth. A likely candidate to backup Connor Barwin as a JACK linebacker, Newsome would be solid competition for Travis Long, Casey Matthews and Josh Kaddu. The Eagles would have to overcome the character concerns, but Newsome is a third or fourth round talent that could possibly be had in the sixth or seventh.