Skip to main content

2024 Dallas Cowboys Draft Guide | Defensive Tackles

2024 Dallas Cowboys Draft Guide | Defensive Tackles

DT: Jer’Zhan Newton | Illinois

Defensive Tackle
  • Height: 6-2
  • Weight: 304
  • School: Illinois
  • Class: Senior
Table inside Article
Heavy hands and quick feet at the point of attack. Gains leverage quickly and doesn’t let up until he’s in the backfield. Uses that explosion off the line to drive blockers backward, especially when rushing the passer. Strong upper body helps too. More of a pass-rushing threat than a run-stuffer in the middle. Loves to shoot the gap and had some success doing so, which could leave linebackers vulnerable in the NFL against more elusive tailbacks. Can get off balance with his lower half.

OVERVIEW: It was a long journey from St. Petersburg, Florida, to Champaign, Illinois, but it was one that worked out perfectly for the three-star high school recruit. Newton chose Illinois over most of the top programs in the country because of a vision, one that made him a starter as a freshman in 2020. He blossomed into one of the top defensive tackles in the country, winning the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year award in 2023. Added All-American honors in both 2022 and 2023 as well. 

COMPARISON: Ndamukong Suh