2024 NFL Draft - Best teams to draft Illinois football DL Johnny Newton

With the 2024 NFL Draft quickly approaching, it is time to see which teams are best suited to take Illinois football defensive lineman, Johnny Newton
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The 2024 NFL Draft is quickly approaching, and the Illinois football team is eyeing another first-round pick.

Johnny Newton is likely to give the Illini back-to-back first-round NFL Draft picks this year. He is projected to be a first-rounder, and there are a number of teams that best suit the talented defensive lineman.

Here are the 2024 NFL Draft best teams to draft Illinois football defensive lineman Johnny Newton

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Pro Football Focus Pick: Houston Texas (Round 1: Pick 21)

In the latest mock draft, Pro Football Focus has Johnny Newton as the first Illinois football player going off the board. They have him going No. 21 in the first round to the Houston Texans. The Texans are projected to trade up in the draft to get this spot.

This would be a solid landing spot for Newton, as the Texans are looking to win now. Newton could compete for a starting defensive tackle job in their 4-3 defense.

Best Fit: Dallas Cowboys (Round 1: Pick 24)

I believe the best fit for Newton is the Dallas Cowboys. They are another team that is in win-now mode, and I think he could help their defense greatly.

Dallas has a good offense and two tremendous defensive ends, but they are lacking in defensive tackle depth. I think Newton could come into the Cowboys franchise and compete for the starting defensive tackle job from day one. If Newton drops, it wouldn’t shock me to see Dallas take him with pick No. 24.

Other Options: Arizona Cardinals (Round 1: Pick 27), Minnesota Vikings (Round 1: Pick 23)

Plenty of franchises need a good defensive tackle, and there are two teams beyond the Texans and Cowboys to keep an eye on. The Arizona Cardinals at pick No. 27 and the Minnesota Vikings at pick No. 23 both intrigue me.

The Cardinals have kind of been a dumpster fire as of late, so Newton going there wouldn’t be optimal. But they are looking to bolster the defensive line. Newton could join the Cardinals’ roster, and he would likely be in a timeshare with Bilal Nichols and Justin Jones. I am not sure Newton drops to pick No. 27, though.

Minnesota is a team that definitely could take Newton in the first round with pick No. 23. They play a 3-4 style defense, which Newton is used to at Illinois. He wouldn’t have to start from day one either, as the Vikings have Harrison Phillips anchoring the defensive line. Newton would see a lot of snaps in a nice rotation with Phillips, though.

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