Illinois DT Johnny Newton ‘could create a lot of trouble’ at NFL Combine

Johnny Newton

INDIANAPOLIS — Illinois defensive tackle Johnny Newton is ready for the next step in his football career.

After a historic year in 2023 during which he won the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, Newton finished with 52 tackles, 8.5 for loss and 7.5 sacks, which were a career-high.

Newton, who stands 6-foot-2 and 295 pounds, said his combination of skills on the interior defensive line allows him to offer a unique advantage at the NFL Combine.

“Just using my God-given abilities,” Newton told the media on Wednesday afternoon. “Honestly, I work really hard. I played running back in high school, so I feel like that footwork transitioned to defensive line, and I know my speed could take me a long way. First step, getting off the ball quick, attacking off the spot, I feel like I could create a lot of trouble like that.”