The NFL Draft is almost here (April 29!), and with Northwestern projected to have not one, but two picks in the first round of 32, we asked our staffers which team they’d like to see both Rashawn Slater and Greg Newsome play for in the NFL. The reasoning ranged from personal fandoms, to pure highest entertainment value and much more.
While Northwestern fans probably don’t want to see either of these two studs slide slightly below their draft projections, I think both of these landing spots would be fantastic from a content perspective. The Chargers already have two beloved Wildcats in all-time sack leader Joe Gaziano and all-time leading rusher Justin Jackson, and given their team’s deficiencies along the offensive line, Slater would be a perfect fit to turn LA into Northwestern West Coast. As for Newsome, I just get way too excited thinking about a secondary with him, CJ Garnder-Johnson and Marshonn Lattimore, who are not only three fantastic corners but more importantly they all talk an OUTRAGEOUS amount of trash. Defensive back is the one position in football where you can never have too much swag, and sending Newsome to NOLA might fully brake that scale. Need it.
To begin, I’m very optimistic that we’ll see Slater go top 10 in this year’s draft. If he doesn’t go top 10, he’ll be very close to it. There are plenty of teams up there that need to bolster their offensive line, hence why I believe the Carolina Panthers would be a great fit for Slater. The Panthers have a massive hole at left tackle, just brought in a new QB this offseason (granted, it’s Sam Darnold, but still) and have the best running back in all of football (besides JJTBC) in their backfield. When it comes to Newsome, I’m a lifelong Bears fan, so that’s about it. That being said, Kyle Fuller is gone, so the secondary headlined by Eddie Jackson and Jaylon Johnson could use some help. Sure, their offense is being led by Andy Dalton this year, but let’s forget about that. The Bears drafting Newsome would all but make up for watching them hobble to a 6-11 record in 2021-22.
Jacob Brown: Rashawn Slater to anyone but the Giants, Greg Newsome to the Arizona Cardinals at 16
I will preface this with the fact that I am a Cardinals fan, but Arizona has a legit shot to win the NFC this year. The offense was given bolsters during the offseason, though poor playcalling may hold them back again (sound familiar Mick?), and the defense added JJ Watt to an already solid line and linebacking core. The loss of Patrick Peterson has created a void, and Newsome has the swagger and talent to fill it. He’s been climbing up the mock drafts, and with Steve Keim having taken some shots this offseason, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him take Newsome early. As far as Slater, I have no faith in Daniel Jones, and there are tons of teams in the top half of the draft that need lineman.
Ben Chasen: Rashawn Slater to the (trading-up) Chiefs at 11, Greg Newsome to the Dolphins at 18
It’s no secret that I’m a die-hard Kansas City Chiefs fan. It’s also no secret to anyone who watched Super Bowl LV and followed the Chiefs’ subsequent o-line overhaul that Kansas City could really use a franchise tackle to protect their one-day Hall of Fame quarterback. I believe Rashawn Slater is that franchise tackle, and I want Brett Veach to take the leap up to trade with the Giants, who according to some reports, want to trade at 11... even if it costs him a first rounder this year, a first rounder in the future and an additional pick or piece of value. As for Newsome, my friend and Northwestern photography legend Ryan Kuttler is a South Florida native, and I trust Ryan and his Dolphin friends to take care of the elite corner, who is quite possibly my favorite Wildcat ever. Xavien Howard and the Chicago native would get along quite well and terrorize AFC East quarterbacks in the process.
Will Karmin: Rashawn Slater to the Dallas Cowboys at 10, Greg Newsome to the Bears at 20
The top four picks will be quarterbacks, and while I would love for Slater to protect Joe Burrow’s blindside for the next decade, I think he will be reunited with former LSU Tiger teammate Ja’Marr Chase. Miami will probably opt for a skill position player at six and I do not want Slater in Detroit. While Carolina and Denver are both decent options at eight and nine, I would love to see Slater protecting Dak Prescott on a Dallas team that has a rich o-line history. As for Newsome, I am a huge Bears fan and would love to see him and Jaylon Johnson lock down wideouts on Sundays. Perhaps no NFL team would have a group of cornerbacks with better trash-talking skills than the Bears with Newsome and Johnson.
Michael Barthelemy: Rashawn Slater to the New York Giants at 11, Greg Newsome to the Arizona Cardinals at 16
I know the Giants drafted Andrew Thomas at No. 4 just a year ago, but he was inconsistent in his first year and could force the hand of Dave Gettleman to try for a stud tackle once more. The Giants have built up a promising offense in the past few seasons and added Kenny Golladay this offseason. Another solid o-line piece could be what completes the unit. Like Slater, Newsome has continued to jump up draft boards in recent weeks and would be a perfect fit in Arizona. They tried to patch up the hole at cornerback with the signing of Malcolm Butler, but the unit as a whole is aging and Butler is riding on a one-year waiver. Newsome would be able to step in as the future of the Cardinals secondary as Arizona hopes to compete for the division crown.
Ever since the end of the college football season in January, Slater’s draft stock has only gone up. Penei Sewell initially looked to be the undisputed best offensive lineman in his class, but notable analysts like Daniel Jeremiah of the NFL Network have since declared Slater to be the best player at that position in the draft. I’d really love to see Slater be taken in the top ten, join a team where he could play anywhere on the line, and become a part of a franchise with an exciting future. For Newsome, I want to see him get the respect he deserves and go as early in the draft as possible. However, I also can’t help but hope that my New York Jets take him at 23, filling a dire need in the secondary and securing the heir to Revis Island.