How Fifth-Round Pick, Versatile Corner Josh Newton Fits in Bengals’ Defense

Where Josh Newton fits in the Bengals' defense could depend on what happens with Dax Hill, but the coaches are excited about the possibilities.

CINCINNATI – The Cincinnati Bengals went back to their template in the fifth round by selecting TCU cornerback Josh Newton with Pick 149.

Team captain? Check.

Played in big games? Check.

Played in a lot of games? Check.

Character? Check and check.

Not only does Newton have character, he is a character, delivering one of the most entertaining conference calls with Cincinnati media in the last decade or so, dropping in a drawn out “s**t” a couple of dozen times.

Cincinnati Bengals Draft Josh Newton in Fifth Round

It’s easy to see why the Bengals liked him beyond his tape, which included 59 starts in five seasons at TCU and Louisiana-Monroe.

As defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo pointed out, Newton had more than 30 tackles in each of the last three seasons, an attractive trait in the AFC North division. And he has great awareness and instincts, as evidenced by seven career interceptions and 40 pass breakups.

Newton appeared in 61 games in college with 59 starts. He was primarily an outside corner, but he has experience in the slot.

The Basics

Position: Cornerback
School: TCU
Age: 23 (Sept. 13, 2000)
Height: 5’10 1/2″
Weight: 190 pounds
Current Year: Sixth-year senior
PFN Big Board Ranking: 125

The Fit

Before the Bengals figure out where Newton fits, they first have to figure out the same question with 2022 first-round pick Dax Hill.

Defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo said they are still working through their plan with Hill, and there is no rush to lock either player into a role.

What They Said

Anarumo on taking Newton:

“There’s a lot to like. Plays inside, plays outside, played a bunch of games at nickel. Great kid, great football instincts, awareness. I like everything about his game. You’re getting a great kid. You’re getting a guy that has played at the highest level in college. It just helps when they come here, and they’re in bigger games and bigger situations that hey, I’ve kind of already done this.”

Newton on where he seems himself playing in the NFL: 

“I don’t give a damn what I play in the league. I’ll play anywhere. If I had to pick, yeah, outside (corner) because the outside money thing. That’s the X matchups and all that. Bro, wherever I fit in and whatever the coaches need, I’m trying to be a Swiss Army knife. I ain’t trying to be in one spot. I want to be use multiple ways.”

PFN’s Grade

Grade: B

Ian Cummings: “Newton is a bit undersized and doesn’t possess elite top speed (4.51 40-time) or short area burst, but he’s not afraid to pop the pads in run support and shows a far better feel in zone coverage when he can react to the action in front of him. Newton could factor into the DB rotation with Cam Taylor-Britt and DJ Turner down the road.”

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