Jer'Zhan Newton
Jer'Zhan Newton  DL  Illinois | NFL Draft 2024 Souting Report - Portrait Image
Jer'Zhan Newton
Home town
St. Petersburg, FL
Player Rating
PositionRank (DL)
FortyYD Time
Fumbles Forced
Sol tackles
Jer'Zhan Newton Prospect Overview
Nov 6, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers quarterback Tanner Morgan (2) is brought down by Illinois Fighting Illini defensive lineman Jer'Zhan Newton (94) and linebacker Isaiah Gay (92) for a loss in the fourth quarter at Huntington Ba

Jer'Zhan Newton DL Illinois | NFL Draft Profile & Scouting Report

Jer'Zhan Newton DL Illinois
NFL Draft Profile & Scouting Report

Last Updated: 03/27/2024
Draft Year: 2024
40 time: 4.95 seconds (51%*)
Age: 21.9 DOB: 08/31/2002
Height: 6-2 (22%*) Weight: 304 (77%*)
Hands: 9 1/2 (31%*) Arm: 32 3/8 (30%*) Span: 75 7/8 (5%*)
Forty: 4.95 (O) (51%*)
0% 100%
(C) - NFL Combine (P) - Pro Day (O) - Other (HS) -Estimated from High School Combine
For an explanation of how the (HS) data is calculated see this article
Last Updated: 03/27/2024
Draft Year: 2024
40 time: 4.95 seconds (51%*)
Age: 21.9 DOB: 08/31/2002
0% 100%
Height: 6-2 (22%*) Weight: 304 (77%*)
Hands: 9 1/2 (31%*) Arm: 32 3/8 (30%*)
Span: 75 7/8 (5%*)
Forty: 4.95 (O) (51%*)
(C) - NFL Combine (P) - Pro Day (O) - Other
(HS) -Estimated from High School Combine
For an explanation of how the (HS) data is calculated see this article
Overall Rating: 89.5 / 100
Average rating of opposition Offense player has faced
Offense Rating:
Click the links below to view how player ranks vs other prospects.
Pass Rush:
Run Defense:
Overall Rank: #12 Position rank: #3
College Games: 44 College Snaps: 2355
Grade: 3 ESPN  Stars 3 ESPN  Stars ESPN RATING: 76/100
College Combine Results
Grade: 247 Sports 3  Stars 247 Sports 85 Stars 247 RATING: 85/100
Grade: 3 Stars 3 Stars RIVALS RATING: 5.5 (90%)
Player Comparison* (Similarity level)
Jalen Carter - Georgia
Kobie Turner - Wake Forest
Karl Brooks - Bowling Green
Washington Commanders Drafted: ROUND: 2 - Pick Number: 36 (WSH)
Draft Profile: Bio
Jer'Zhan Newton (known as Johnny), a defensive lineman from the University of Illinois, emerged from Clearwater, Florida as a three-star recruit. At Illinois, Newton quickly made a name for himself, demonstrating a strong presence on the defensive line. Standing at 6'2" and weighing 295 pounds, he has been a versatile player, lining up in various positions on the line.

In the 2023 game against Penn State, Newton showcased his disruptive abilities, recording six tackles, seven pressures, and two batted passes, in addition to blocking a field goal. His performance throughout the 2022 and 2023 seasons was consistently dominating.

Newton's accolades include being named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year in 2023. He was also a two-time All-American in 2022 and 2023, and a team captain in his final year. His achievements were further recognized with a selection to the All-Big Ten First Team in 2022.

From his freshman year in 2020, Newton was impactful, playing 8 games making 15 tackles, 11 assists, 13 stops, and 6 total pressures. He built on this foundation in his sophomore year, increasing his stats across the board where in 12 games he added 27 tackles, 17 assists, 19 stops, and 15 total pressures.
2023 was his best year by far as he made 43 total pressures, along with 8 sacks and 28 hurries.

Overall, Newton is projected as a starting 3-technique interior DL, known for his impact in both run and passing downs.
Scouting Report: Strengths
  • Newton's alignment versatility is a key strength, effectively shifting across multiple spots on the defensive line with tactical precision.
  • His explosive get-off is a major disruptor; Newton consistently beats linemen off the snap with his quick burst.
  • Utilizes heavy, impactful hands for crushing blows, showcasing advanced hand-fighting techniques
  • Demonstrates the flexibility to play on the edge, indicating a broad skill set beyond typical interior line duties.
  • Exceptional leverage, using his size and technique to gain upper hand in the trenches.
  • Armed with an array of countermoves, he's not just a power player but a strategic rusher with a diverse skill set.
  • For a near 300-pound athlete, his agility and quickness stand out, making him a dual threat in both run and pass situations.
  • Displays strong point of attack capabilities against the run, with natural leverage and ability to control engagements.
Scouting Report: Weaknesses
  • Newton's size profile is less than ideal for a defensive tackle, potentially impacting his effectiveness against larger NFL linemen.
  • Lacks the desired arm length, which could limit his ability to extend and control engagements at the next level.
  • Struggles with handling double-team blocks
  • Can be prone to getting manhandled in the run game, indicating a need for improvement in maintaining his position against aggressive run blocks.
  • His get-off and acceleration off the snap is only average - reduces the effectiveness of his speed rush
Player Comparison
Calijah Kancey
Scouting Report: Summary
Jer'Zhan Newton, despite being on the smaller side for a defensive lineman, stands out for his dynamic play at Illinois. His ability to hold his ground against the run, coupled with his agility, makes him a versatile defender. Newton isn't just about brute strength; his mobility allows him to move, making plays all along the line.

Newton shines in his pass-rushing role, where his quick hands and diverse skill set come into play. He's adept at using a variety of techniques to get past blockers, combining agility with elite flexibility for a player of his size. This makes him a consistent threat in the backfield and an outstanding interior rusher.

Although Newton's size isn't exactly prototypical for an NFL tackle, his performance speaks for itself. His speed off the snap may not be the quickest, but he still manages to wreak havoc in the backfield He leverages his size to his advantage, using his compact frame and technical prowess to challenge bigger linemen.

Looking at Newton's overall potential, he fits well as a starting 3-technique interior DL in the NFL. His overall skill set is no doubt elite but will need to be teamed with a bigger run-stuffing defensive tackle in order to get the next out of him at the next level and justify a first-round selection in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Jer'Zhan Newton percentiles vs other Defensive Lines (NFL Combine historically - higher value represents better perfomance)

How other scouting services rate Jer'Zhan Newton (Overall Rank)

All Scouts AverageOverall Rank
All Scouts AveragePosition Rank
*Percentile Ranking in Player's Position Group (NFL Combine Historical Data): This percentile reflects how a player's specific statistics rank in comparison to historical performances at the NFL Combine, specifically within their position group. A higher percentile indicates a better performance. For instance, being in the 90th percentile for a particular stat means the player outperformed 90% of their peers in that category.

*Similarity Percentage: This percentage is calculated based on a comprehensive analysis of various factors, including height, weight, 40-yard dash times, on-field performance statistics, and overall player rating. The analysis is conducted against our database of draft prospects from 2021 to 2023. This similarity score helps in evaluating how closely a current prospect aligns with past prospects. It is important to note, however, that this score reflects similarities based on college production and attributes, and does not account for eventual success or performance in the NFL.