2021 NFL Draft: Jamie Newman the forgotten man at quarterback.
The 2021 NFL Draft class is fascinating at the quarterback position, headlined by arguably the best prospect to come along in a decade or more — Trevor Lawrence.
What about the players who will be taken after day one of the draft, though?
Days 2-3 of the 2021 NFL Draft could include players like Alabama’s Mac Jones, Florida’s Kyle Trask, or Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder among others, but what about a player who was expected to potentially take a massive leap in 2020?
What about former Wake Forest quarterback Jamie Newman?
After finishing the 2019 season with the Demon Deacons, Newman transferred to Georgia to take Jake Fromm’s vacated starting job as the Bulldogs’ quarterback. On paper, it seemed like a perfect fit, and like Newman could potentially help lead Georgia to the College Football Playoff.
Then when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Newman became one of the players to make the decision to opt-out of the 2020 campaign altogether.
That decision has effectively made Newman’s evaluation borderline impossible because he only has one full season as a starting quarterback, similar to someone like Trey Lance.
The 2020 NFL Draft class was headlined by a guy with one great year in Joe Burrow, but his starting experience was more extensive than that. Guys like Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert, even with some injury history, were basically college football veterans.
Even Jordan Love, who was considered raw in certain aspects, had multiple years of time on task as a starter.
Newman’s one year as Wake Forest’s main starter certainly had some highs and lows, but considering some mechanical issues could have led to inconsistency in accuracy for Newman in 2019, it would have been tremendous to get to see him in 2020 with some improvements there.
Newman has accepted an invitation to participate in the Senior Bowl in 2021, and that week is going to be absolutely critical for his evaluation, much more so than it might be for other players in previous years.
Is that fair?
Maybe, maybe not. Newman’s decision to opt-out of the 2020 season should not be held against him, but that doesn’t mean it won’t affect his overall evaluation in a significant way.
As a result, teams may not be willing to take a shot on Newman until late on day two or maybe even day three of the 2021 NFL Draft. The physical upside is obviously there. There is a reason why Georgia chose him over pretty much any other quarterback that was available leading up to the 2020 season.
Newman is likely going to blow everyone away as a physical specimen. He looks like he was chiseled out of granite and he proved on the field that he’s every bit a dual-threat from the quarterback position who can make plays through the air or with his legs.
Still, the sample size issue could come back to bite him when it comes to the 2021 NFL Draft, and could greatly benefit the NFL team that takes him.