Who Is Jer’Zhan Newton? Height, Weight, Age, and More

Jer’Zhan Newton is one of the most productive defenders at the collegiate level and is a top DT prospect. Here is everything to know about Newton.

The NFL Draft is approaching, and there are many intriguing prospects in this year’s class. Here is everything you need to know about defensive tackle Jer’Zhan Newton heading into the 2024 NFL Draft.

How Tall Is Jer’Zhan Newton

Newton stands at 6’1 5/8″, which places him in the 17th percentile at the position in direct comparison to his positional counterparts. His wingspan of 75 7/8″ is also well below average as he sits in the 6th percentile.

He has excellent natural leverage, proportional length, and universal alignment versatility but has below-average size overall.

How Much Does Newton Weigh?

Newton weighs in at 304 pounds, which falls in the 47th percentile at the position. He shows off exceptional athleticism and pursuit speed for his size.

With middling length, Newton won’t fit the size threshold for certain roles. Newton’s lack of mass can be a problem against double teams, and he can be displaced by combo blocks.

How Old Is Newton?

Newton was born on Aug. 31, 2002, and is 21 years old. He attended Clearwater Central Catholic High School in Clearwater, Fla. During his high school career, he had 244 tackles and 24 sacks.

Revisiting Newton’s College Career

As a true freshman at Illinois in 2020, Newton played in all eight games with two starts and had 23 tackles and 1.5 sacks.

In 2021, he started 11 of 12 games, recording 50 tackles and had 3.5 sacks.

Newton returned to Illinois in 2022 where he led the team with 14 TFLs. He started 13 games and tallied 62 tackles, 5.5 sacks, and three PBUs. He was named a second-team Associated Press All-American and to the All-Big Ten Conference first team.

In the 2023 season, he played in 12 games with 11 starts. He tallied 52 tackles, 8.5 TFL, two PBUs, and one forced fumble. He was named a first-team Associated Press All-American, the Big Ten Conference Defensive Player of the Year, a first-team All-Big Ten member, and a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy (nation’s top defender). He led the team with 7.5 sacks and the FBS with a school-record four blocked kicks.

He declared for the 2024 NFL Draft following the 2023 season. 

Newton’s Potential in the NFL

Newton was one of the most productive defenders at the collegiate level, but how does his game translate to the NFL?

According to Pro Football Network draft analyst Ian Cummings, Newton grades out as a top-15 prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft and is the top DT prospect in the class, ranked over Texas’ Byron Murphy II by a slim margin.

MORE: Top DTs in the 2024 NFL Draft

“Newton is a surgical disruptor in both run defense and pass defense, whose hyper-elite flexibility serves as a defining and dominating trait,” Cummings said.

“With his combined burst, flexibility, hand strength, and angle awareness, he’s an unnaturally permeable force against run blocks. Meanwhile, as a pass rusher, Newton has the combined athleticism, hand precision, violence in his strikes, bend, and motor to menace the QB from a multitude of alignments.”

According to Cummings, some of Newton’s strengths include being an explosive, high-energy athlete who can invade gaps with his spry mobility and zeal. He is also a slippery rusher who processes blocking angles and combo blocks startlingly quickly.

His weaknesses include a lack of the strength and mass needed to control blocks while working across-face and that his hands don’t have elite knockback force at contact and can’t always create movement.

KEEP READING: Ian Cummings’ Full Scouting Report of Jer’Zhan Newton

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