The Indianapolis Colts chose to upgrade their defensive line and more specifically their pass rush in this year’s NFL Draft with Jonathan Newsome, defensive end out of Ball State University. Newsome played defensive end in college but should be expected to transition to the rush linebacker position. This could be extremely helpful now that Robert Mathis is going to be missing the first four games of the NFL season.
Looking back at Newsome’s college career it appears that he had to mature a little before he could grow as a football player. He was suspended for possession of marijuana in August of 2012, but he was able to mature into a productive football player. He managed to register 16.5 sacks in his final year albeit against lower ranking competition.
Colts fans should see Newsome only in pass rushing situations this year due to him being undersized. He is too small to be an everyday player but can contribute if the Colts use him on an island against a left tackle. Newsome is able to get pressure when he can pin his ears back and use his hands to put himself in a good position to win a one on one battle with the left tackle.
Newsome will probably start behind Bjoern Werner and Robert Mathis on the depth chart this year, but he can be productive in a limited role as a rookie for the Colts. Ultimately there was a reason why Newsome fell to the fifth round; he is undersized and there are some character issues. However, there is enough raw talent to be productive down the road. The ceiling for Newsome is high, and he is going to face similar issues that Mathis faced when he was a rookie. Similar to Mathis the raw ability is there, and he can grow as a football player with good coaching and staying out of trouble.