Summary: During the fall of 2019, Newman created a buzz in the scouting community as a legit pro prospect for the NFL. The junior showed a big improvement that season, completing 61 percent of his passes for 2,868 yards with 26 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He also had six rushing touchdowns and 464 yards on the ground. In 2018, Newman completed 60 percent of his passes for 1,083 yards with nine touchdowns and four interceptions.
Newman had graduated from Wake Forest at the end of 2019, and he decided to transfer rather than enter the 2020 NFL Draft. At the time, Newman said staying in school was based on his need to develop and prepare for the next level. Newman landed at Georgia, where he could have been the replacement for Jake Fromm, but Newman decided to sit out the 2020 season. He then participated in the Senior Bowl, where had an underwhelming week of practice.
As a passer, Newman has a powerful arm and is capable of making all the throws. Newman tosses a nice deep ball and is able to locate his passes well downfield. He has good touch, can put air underneath the ball and loft in throws, yet also has the power to fire fastballs into tight windows. Newman throws the ball well in the red zone and is very adept at putting the ball up for his receiver to make a play over defensive backs. Newman worked really well with big wideout Sage Surratt, using their abilities to win on 50-50 throws, back-shoulder, and fade passes that are popular in NFL offenses.
Newman can throw accurately, but he could stand to continue to improve in that regard. Improving his footwork and not throwing flat-footed will help to make his passes more precise. In the pocket, Newman has good size and is tough to throw in the face of the rush. He shows physical courage and does not let impending hits keep him from delivering the ball downfield.
Newman has some quickness and athleticism as a runner, but he is not a bolt of lightning or very elusive like Lamar Jackson. Newman is more straight line and downhill, but he will use his big size to run over defenders and push the pile in short-yardage situations. He also lowers his shoulder to deliver the blow to tacklers. That led to Newman suffering a shoulder injury in 2019 against Louisville, so that is something that he is going to have to do less in the NFL, and he will need to have the inclination coached out of him. Still, he offers the ability to pick up some first downs with his feet and could be a weapon near the goal line and in short-yardage situations.
There are number of areas that Newman will need to get better at for the NFL, and playing in the SEC with a different offense would have helped his development. Wake Forest's offense had Newman making a lot of quick instant throws. He also was not working off his first read very often. The offense did not have him going through a lot of progressions on the majority of plays either. The Demon Deacons did have Newman do some deep drops with working through targets, but that was on a smaller percentage of plays. The vast majority had the passing being thrown immediately.
Newman will stare down his primary read too often. On the plays, he did do deep drops, he needs to get faster working through the progressions and speed up the process. Hence, Newman's field vision needs a lot of work.
If Newman had entered the 2020 NFL Draft, he could have been a second-day pick. After sitting out a season and his poor showing at the Senior Bowl, howver, he looks like a prospect who fits Day 3 of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Player Comparison: DeShone Kizer. Newman has similar skills and flaws to Kizer. Kizer underwent more development in college and hence was a a second-day pick, while Newman will probably go on Day 3. Kizer quickly became a journeyman backup, and Newman could have a similar career.