Packers Deep Dive - Fourth Round Draft Pick Royce Newman

The Packers fourth round pick, Royce Newman, brings athleticism and versatility to the Green Bay offensive line.

It was no suprise the Green Bay Packers spent two of their first four picks on offensive linemen. After losing Corey Linsley, Rick Wagner, and Lane Taylor in the offseason, they certainly needed more depth heading into the 2021 season.

With the 142nd pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Packers may have gotten a steal in athletic offensive lineman, Royce Newman.

The 6-foot-5, 310-pound tackle out of Ole Miss started for two years in college, one season at guard and another at tackle. He only allowed two sacks in 430 pass block reps as the Rebels right tackle in 2020, and only allowed one sack in 416 pass block reps at guard in 2019. Not bad for a linemen who faced athletic SEC pass rushers most weeks.

Newman's versatility to play guard or tackle on both sides of the line certainly brings immediate value to the Packers roster. However, he also possesses plenty of traits to get excited about, making him an intriguing player for Green Bay to develop in the years to come.

After watching four games from this 2020 season (Alabama, LSU, South Carolina, and Indiana), and two games from his 2019 season (Alabama, Arkansas), here is what stands out about Newman's game.

Positive Traits:

1) Great Athlete:

Newman's athleticism and quickness pops on tape. Watch this first clip from his game against LSU in 2020. He quickly fires out of his stance and gets his hands on the defender, but watch how smooth his footwork is to shadow the defensive end's every move. Newman does a great job keeping his feet moving, while staying engaged with his man.

Now, watch in this next clip from the South Carolina game how quickly Newman gets out on the edge on this reach block. This is exactly what the Packers ask their offensive linemen to do on stretch plays, but it requires linemen to be quick and athletic in order to get the proper leverage against defensive ends.

This next clips is from Newman's 2019 game against Arkansas. He is playing left guard instead of right tackle. I love here how quickly he gets out in the flat on this wide receiver screen. His athleticism and natural movement allow him to engage with defenders out in space. He even shows some physicality here to finish the play.

 

2) Effective Puller:

Newman's athleticism and quickness out of his stance allow him to be a very effective puller, whether that be at guard or tackle. This next clip is from his 2019 Alabama game and he is starting at left guard. Watch how quickly he gets out of his stance, takes a flat step, and kicks out the end.

Newman will certainly be asked to pull at guard in the NFL, but even if he gets some reps at tackle, he has the athleticism to change direction and quick burst to pull, get through the line, and get to the second level. Here's a clip from his 2020 game against Indiana. On this play he is lined up at right tackle and pulling left. The play doesn't go his way, but it is impressive how quickly he gets to his spot and accelerates to the linebacker.

3) Quick to the Second Level:

Newman's athleticism and burst out of his stance allow him to get downfield quickly and engage at the second level. This may be the best strength to his game. Watch how in this clip from the Alabama game Newman quickly gains ground on the inside backer and stays step-for-step with him downfield.

In this next clip, Newman is playing left guard and within a second of the snap, he is already getting to the second level and squarnig up a linebacker.

Newman's ability to gain ground on linebackers is so valuable at the next level. Watch in this next clip from his 2019 Arkansas game, how Newman initially double teams the defensive tackle, but then he passes it off to get to the linebacker. I love how Newman finishes plays and constantly looks for work downfield. 

Newman brings some physicality to the position. He does a great job keeping his feet moving as he engages on the second level. It is an unfair matchup for smaller linebackers.

4) Good Punch and Drive Out of His Stance:

Newman's punch and forward moving power out of his stance are very good. In this next example from the LSU game, you can see him knock the defender back as the ball is snapped.

There is nothing more frustrating as a defender than a cantankerous offensive lineman who will punch you in the mouth. Newman plays with violent hands and he packs some power with his punch. Newman's legs are strong, and he can really move guys off their spot once he engages and drives his feet. Watch in this next clip how he moves the defensive tackle one gap over from his spot.

It is his forward moving power that makes him a good fit at guard in the NFL. He plays with strong hands, a good base, and quick feet. This next clip from the South Carolina game showcases all three attributes very well.

Newman can simply move people. Pair that with his athleticism and burst, and he has all of the tools to be a very good NFL linemen.

5) Good Technique in Pass Set:

Newman may not be the strongest lineman coming out of college, but he shows very good technique in his pass sets. There's a reason he was so successful in protecting his quarterback at Ole Miss. Newman plays with a good base when engaging with pass rushers. He also shows good arm extension and initial punch. Watch how he stonewalls this Alabama defender.

Newman sets a pretty good base when taking on pass rushers. However, his quick feet and smooth lateral movement are his best attributes as a pass protector. They allow him to shadow defenders and keep them from affecting the pocket. Notice in this next clip how easily Newman moves with his guy, keeping him from gaining any outside leverage.

Newman also shows good pass protection ability at guard. Here is his game in 2019 against Arkansas. He is starting at left guard and the protection calls for him to block down and pick up the defensive tackle.

Newman's quick lateral movement allow him to step inside, engage with the defender, and move with him down the line of scrimmage.

Areas to Improve:

1) Functional Strength:

While Newman possesses strong legs and forward-moving power in the run game, he does lack the elite functional strength to hold up consistently against NFL defensive tackles. 23 reps on the bench are far below the mark teams want in their starting guards. Watch in this next clip against Arkansas how Newman struggles a bit with a big defensive tackle bull rushing him.

Part of the issue here too is that Newman plays too high in this rep, losing the leverage battle soon after the ball is snapped. The Razorback defender completely outpowers Newman and blows up the rushing lane. However, to be fair, this was one of Newman's first starts in college. He did improve in this area in 2020.

With time to develop in a NFL weight room, Newman can certainly fix this deficiency in his game.

2) Play with Better Balance:

Newman is a tremendous athlete for his postion, but he could work on improving his balance and control.  At times, Newman is too eager out of his stance and will get caught lunging at defenders. Savy defensive linemen will take advantage of this. Watch in this next clip how Newman finds himself on the ground as the LSU defender quickly sniffs this out.

Again, this is a very fixable part of a lineman's game, but ideally, coaches will want him to play with better control and use his feet to get under his block, instead of relying on only using his hands to engage the defender.

Overall, Newman is an exciting prospect that should fit well in the Packerse offensive scheme. His athleticism and versatility at the posiiton bring a lot of value to the roster, and his development could go a long way in filling potential needs on the offensive line.

Getting Newman in the fourth round might not grab any headlines, but we may look back on this selection someday and realize it was quite a steal.

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12 points

Comments (15)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
Galacticat's picture

May 05, 2021 at 08:01 pm

Outstanding analysis, Dan!

6 points
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GregC's picture

May 05, 2021 at 08:03 pm

Thanks for the clips. It's a little disappointing to hear that he projects more as a guard in the NFL. The Packers keep getting my hopes up when they draft OTs, but most of them turn out to be guards. In these clips, his mobility stands out much more than his strength, so he looks like he would do better as a run blocker than a pass blocker.

1 points
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dblbogey's picture

May 05, 2021 at 10:14 pm

I think we'll be seeing Elgton Jenkins at left tackle until Bakh is ready, then he'll move to whatever is the weakest spot in the line at that time.

2 points
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GregC's picture

May 06, 2021 at 05:32 am

It sure looks that way. Although Billy Turner did surprisingly well at RT last season, he had a rough outing at LT in the NFC championship game. From what I've heard of Yosh Nijman, he is more of an RT type as well, so Jenkins appears to be our only decent option at LT until Bahktiari comes back.

1 points
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Packerfansupreme's picture

May 05, 2021 at 08:19 pm

This pick didnt jump out at me at the time because we drafted 3 OL last year and we took Myers in round 2 but I like what I'm hearing after this article. Should be interesting see who our starting 5 lineman will be. Go pack go

5 points
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MarkinMadison's picture

May 05, 2021 at 08:41 pm

Call me silly, but I see a RT here. Possibly even one who could start this year. Let's see how he does in camp.

9 points
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Minniman's picture

May 06, 2021 at 02:58 am

He certainly looks conscientious and willing, doesn’t he.

Bakhtiari recorded 28 reps at the combine, and Bulaga 25. Bench press isn’t much to go on to evaluate true functional strength though, but I like what I see here.

2 points
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MarkinMadison's picture

May 06, 2021 at 10:30 am

My very amateur opinion as a very much failed offensive lineman. He's got a lot of leg drive. Even in one of his positive clips above I noticed he looked to me like he was leaning forward a little too much. I think he is trying to utilize his lower body power more in the blocking, and that may be function of relatively weak upper body strength. It's a small sample size in the clips. His overall stats don't indicate a problem pass blocking. So I'm hoping the coaching staff and correct and then build on his upper body strength next off season. He is going to be a little bit vulnerable to swim moves I think if he is leaning in over his feet too much.

2 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

May 06, 2021 at 11:03 am

Not much difference on the press, a couple of lifts may vary with his average closer to 25. His footwork is the key and he can move to the second level. I would start him in the RT competition. If Turner plays LT, he will need help that Jenkins has to give to Myers. We will see how Stenavich wants to play it.

2 points
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sapnajain100's picture

May 05, 2021 at 11:24 pm

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2 points
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CoachDino's picture

May 05, 2021 at 11:40 pm

Great work, thanks!!

2 points
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Archie's picture

May 06, 2021 at 07:07 am

I don't know, the player you describe is not the player I see on tape. He is weak, tries to push his man w/o exerting much power. He also seems to lumber in space. I have my serious doubts that this guy is any good.

-5 points
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Minniman's picture

May 07, 2021 at 01:44 am

Respectfully, no 140KG person doesn't lumber! :)

Potential fair call about strength, but he does exhibit both first step quickness and aggression in spades........ Speed, Aggression, Surprise - you win 2 of these categories and you generally win a combative contest.

He's clearly by now means a sure-fire day 1 starter - but he's got some intriguing building blocks for a good coach to work with. who knows?

0 points
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Razer's picture

May 06, 2021 at 07:17 am

Thanks Dan. He does show his athleticism in these clips and his potential. Our OL coaches should help him with technique - which he needs. It would be nice if he could develop into a RT for next year.

One thing that did show in your clips was an offense where plays didn't seem to get the designed results. In almost all your clips, someone missed an assignment or got beat and the play dissolved. At least Royce did his job o:)

2 points
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greengold's picture

May 06, 2021 at 08:03 am

Thanks Dan! I watched every play you posted along with others. I believe Royce Newman was a solid pick there in R4 142. He’s got the goods in stuff that is difficult or impossible to teach with his natural wide sets, speed and powerful hand use. The strength, balance and lean can all be worked out.

Royce has along with the speed, wide base and powerful hands, arms that are just .25” less in length than Bakhtiari, unlike Teven Jenkins, whose arms are more than 1” shorter.

Seems he’s got what it takes to get the job done at RT, and with his experience there in the SEC, maybe he could start there and flourish in a long career.

5 points
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