CBS Sports put out a new Mock Draft this week, days before the start of the NFL draft. With this pick at 21, Chris Grier takes a player who addresses the side of the ball that Frank Smith and Darrell Bevell do not coach. So, with the 21st pick, they have Miami selecting.


Round 1, Pick #21: Johnny Newton, DT – Illinois

“The Dolphins are widely expected to go offensive lineman here, but I believe Newton is the type of prospect who can cause them to deviate from that plan as their replacement for Christian Wilkins up front on the other side of the ball. A skilled pass-rusher who can attack from the interior and alleviate some of the pressure on the edge rushers returning from injury in Miami, Newton is a Round 1 lock for me even if many projections have put him on the fringe of hearing his name called Thursday.” Draft Profile


Active interior defender with the potential to build on his disruptive production in college. Newton’s size and length don’t stand out, but he has shown a consistent ability to gain extension and set edges against bigger opponents. Newton is clever in setting up blockers and then beating them with sudden hand usage and foot quickness as both a run defender and a pass rusher. He’s strong enough to hold the point, but he’s not going to overwhelm NFL guards with force or power. His skill level and athleticism should create additional playmaking opportunities for him as a three-down 3-technique with early starting potential.


  • Compact and muscular with plenty of upper-body power.
  • Loose-limbed and athletic with ability to run the field like a big defensive end.
  • Able to press and set firm edges using either hand for either gap.
  • Agility and suddenness unlock slide-and-slap move to beat guards quickly.
  • Tape shows a player capable of rushing with purpose and a plan.
  • Outstanding instincts and timing for beating blocker’s edge.
  • Foot quickness creates mismatches for plodding pass protectors.
  • Edge to edge attacking mindset creates secondary pressures and sacks.


  • Tends to catch rather than jolt blockers at initial contact.
  • Needs to tighten up his shed timing as a tackler.
  • Occasionally loses rush lane integrity when searching for pressure.
  • Shaky pad level prevents consistent pocket push as power rusher.


Draft Network Draft Profile


  • Active hand fighter
  • Strength at point of attack vs. run
  • Natural leverage
  • Bend and lateral agility
  • Production


  • Arm length
  • Undersized
  • Acceleration at snap
  • Double team blocks

Film Analysis: 

Johnny Newton is an active, quick-handed striker who lands punches with precision. His hand speed is impressive as he is both active as the aggressor and reactive as a counterpuncher. He has multiple techniques in his bag to defeat blocks quickly—cross-chops, double-hand swipes, hesitations, and swims, to name a few. Newton is an educated defender and pass rusher.

He has the functional strength to bull rush and drive blockers backward into the lap/face of the quarterback. Newton owns and controls the natural leverage battle with blockers due to his height and weight. He can fit his hands and stack blockers to locate the football on the move. He’s a good lateral athlete, showcasing the agility to effectively handle zone and outside run concepts. Newton understands how to effectively defeat reach blocks and stay ahead or in phase with the ball-carrier. He does a nice job clogging lanes and flashing his colors to force the RB to attempt a cutback into proper run fits. Newton’s ability to bend around IOL and down OTs is impressive.

Naturally, Newton’s lack of ideal arm length will be a talking point during the NFL draft process. He is undersized from a physical standpoint. This leads to questions and concerns about his ability to handle double-team blocks in the NFL. His get-off and acceleration at the snap are adequate at best and limit the effectiveness of his power/bull rush.

Newton projects as a starting 3-technique interior DL. His impact can be felt on both run and passing downs. That said, he will be most impactful on passing downs where he can create havoc for opposing quarterbacks and generate pressure up the middle of the OL. Pairing him with a bigger-body nose tackle would be ideal.

Prospect Projection: Day 1 — Pro Bowl Caliber

2024 Miami Dolphins Mock Draft 3.0 (The Final One)

2024 Miami Dolphins Mock Draft 3.0 (The Final One)