Joe Newton TE Oregon St
Joe is the most complete TE in this draft. He is a very good blocker and does an excellent job catching the ball and running his routes. Joe is the type of TE that is just as happy catching the ball as he is blocking for the run or pass. He shows good footwork in his blocking skills and excellent effort and passion on every play. Joe has those nice long arms to go along with the size and body type that is just what the NFL is looking for in a player to play the TE position. He has the speed to stretch the defense and the athleticism to run good routes and to change his routes on the fly as he runs down the field. He catches the balls with his hands and will fight for the ball in the end zone. Joe is mentally tough and shows leadership skills through his play on the field. He has the most upside to his game out of any of the TE’s in this draft because of his potential to become as good a blocker as he is a pass catcher.
NEEDS TO IMPROVE
The biggest concern for this draft is how far back he is from his foot injury last year. I believe he has lost some quickness and explosion off the line. The lack of strength in that foot has affected his ability to block on running plays as well as his quickness to get up to speed in his routes and separate when he is running his underneath routes. The combine will be a big test for Joe to see how far along he is with recovering from that very difficult injury.
TALENT BOARD ROUND: 2
If Joe is completely recovered from that foot injury, I would draft him before I would draft Zack Miller (TE Arizona St) in this draft. Joe has more upside, is more of a complete TE and will be just as good a pass catcher and a much better blocker. For the time being, I have to give Joe a 2nd round talent score because of that injury and the fact that Joe does have to get stronger and use better techniques when blocking for the next level. But his upside to be a better all around TE is much better than Zack’s. Most of this is because of Joe’s attitude and body type. Joe likes to block and wants to improve his blocking skills. Zack is not that interested in blocking and I just do not believe that he will improve much in this area for his career. Zack knows the real money is in catching the ball. Joe knows the real winning is in how well he can do both, and the money will come when he is part of a winning team. The foot injury is a big concern and it might make Joe’s LTI longer than Zack’s; however, if you wait a little with Joe and make sure he is healthy before you make him your starting TE, I think the rewards for your team will be well worth it. Joe most likely will be picked sometime on the second day of this draft for a number of reasons, but he has second round talent and if he had not gotten injured, he might have been listed as first round talent.