CLEVELAND — On the clock for the first time in the 2021 NFL Draft, general manager Andrew Berry and the Cleveland Browns have selected Greg Newsome II with the No. 26 pick. Newsome is a cornerback out of Northwestern.
The versatile 20-year-old corner posted 12 tackles, one interception, and a team-high 10 pass breakups in the first six games of the shortened 2020 season. Newsome earned third-team Associated Press All-American and first-team All-Big Ten honors.
Head coach Kevin Stefanski said Newsome's fit "should give us an element of versatility and allow things to open up."
"There's a lot of things about his game we're really excited about," Stefanski said.
Berry has said throughout the offseason that cornerback was a position of interest for the team.
“I think there are good players across all positions in this class,” Berry said in a press conference leading up to the draft. “In terms of corners in general, that’s a position that you always want to be deep, no different than other positions we have discussed in past sessions. You can never have enough cover guys.”
On Thursday, Berry said that Newsome was a perfect fit for the team and they "sweated it out" as they waited for him to fall to them at No. 26.
"He fits our profile for the Cleveland Browns...great physical talent, one of the youngest guys in the draft class...and fits the smart, tough, accountable mindset," Berry said.
Newsome said he's excited to be in Cleveland and his goal is to be a starter, but he knows he has to prove himself.
"At the end of the day I have to go in there and work and earn my stripes," Newsome said.
Cleveland will find itself on the clock again Friday when the second round of the draft commences.
The Browns still have the following picks in the 2021 Draft, barring any trades:
Second round: No. 59
Third round: No. 89, No. 91 (Saints pick)
Fourth round: No. 110 (Eagles pick), No. 132
Fifth round: No. 169 (Rams pick)
Sixth round: No.211
Seventh round: No. 257 (Bills pick)
Camryn Justice is a digital content producer at News 5 Cleveland. Follow her on Twitter @camijustice.