Out of Georgia, Jakhi Newton is an instinctual player at the safety position who plays fast and hard. He’s spent time at wide receiver as well, so he knows what to do when the ball is in his hands.
In August, GMTM’s Joey Grant and former USC quarterback Max Browne took a look at his tape live on Twitch. Here’s what they thought:
Jakhi plays fast in the defensive backfield and, as Max pointed out, seems poised to thrive in the nickelback role that has continued to become more and more important in recent years. He clearly prepares in the film room, as he frequently reacts quickly to what he’s seeing and is able to disrupt the offense’s rhythm.
On the first play from is tape, he quickly reads that the offense is running a bubble screen to his side of the field. Newton closes quickly on the ball, evading the blocker and arriving at the receiver immediately after he catches the ball. Jakhi is able to wrap him up and secure the tackle for loss.
This instinctual play was a common theme in his highlights, with another example where he reads the screen play and fires down on the receiver. Once he arrived, he was able to breakdown and square up the ballcarrier before securing the tackle and finishing the play. This was a great example of how he plays with a great blend of aggressiveness and patience.
He will close on a ball carrier with reckless abandon while maintaining the smarts to still play under control in order to ensure that he completes the tackle.
On top of his play against the pass, Jakhi is a willing defender against the run. Joe gave him some great advice when he encouraged Jakhi to make sure that the back leg comes through on his tackles. He just needs to improve his consistency in that area, and he will take it to another level.
There are great examples of him against the run, such as the play where he demonstrates an ability to shed blocks and tackle the ball carrier. Standing at 5’8”, he won’t be the biggest player on the field, but you wouldn’t be able to tell from the way he plays.
He demonstrates his playmaking ability with the ball on his hands, as he shows a clip of him taking a punt back for a big time return that put his offense into outstanding field position. His patience and vision was on full display, as he saw the hole and was able to hit it for the big gain.
• Instinctual player, who quickly diagnoses plays and is able to play fast as a result
• Willing, physical defender against both the pass and the run
• Scheme-versatility with a promising profile as a nickelback at the next level
Jakhi Newton is a smart, versatile defender at the DB position in the mold of a Deone Buchannon-type of player. He understands what offenses are trying to do and is able to quickly disrupt what they are trying to accomplish.
With more consistency and the right coaching at the next level, he shows a lot of potential from the DB position.