Xavier Newman-Johnson is a fifth-year player for the Baylor Bears. Newman-Johnson was one of the Bears’ highest-rated prospects in the 2017 recruiting class and quickly became a key contributor for the program. Throughout his career, Newman-Johnson has played at both guard positions and center. Newman-Johnson has a limited frame as far as overall length but he makes up for that with his sheer effort. Newman-Johnson is a scrappy interior offensive lineman that plays hard every down. On the next level, his limited length will make him a purely interior offensive lineman. His athleticism combined with his effort will make Newman-Johnson a tough player for coaches to keep off of their rosters.
Ideal Role: LG or RG
Scheme Fit: Zone run scheme
Written by Keith Sanchez
Games watched: Oklahoma State (2021), BYU (2021), Oklahoma (2021), Oklahoma State CC (2021)
Best Game Studied: Oklahoma State CC (2021)
Worst Game Studied: Oklahoma (2021)
Competitive Toughness: Even though Newman-Johnson is smaller, he shows to be a really tough player. Newman-Johnson works hard to maintain his blocks. He also hangs in there against bigger defensive linemen who try to take advantage of his size and bull rush him.
Balance: Newman-Johnson is a good athlete that shows that he can maintain his balance when moving laterally. Newman-Johnson’s biggest issue with his balance comes when he has to pick up stunts and the defenders catch him from the side. His lack of true size shows here and he often has to stumble to regain his balance.
Anchor Ability: Newman-Johnson has a short, stout frame that helps him play with good leverage and anchor on defenders. He does a good job of keeping a good knee bend and sitting down on defenders to stop them in their tracks. Newman-Johnson shows that he has the overall functional strength to anchor down and prevent from being pushed into the pocket of the quarterback.
Lateral Mobility: There are aspects of Newman-Johnson’s game where he shows to have good lateral mobility and other aspects where he doesn’t. When in his pass set, Newman-Johnson shows that he can mirror defenders and move laterally while still engaged. On the other hand, when he is running blocking and has to locate second-level defenders, he struggles to move laterally to square them up to get the proper contact.
Power at POA: Newman-Johnson has a thick lower half that serves as the base of his power. At the snap, Newman-Johnson’s quickness and power can displace offensive linemen. Newman-Johnson throws his body into defenders to get movement along the line. After the initial contact, Newman-Johnson attempts to run his feet but he is often shed by defenders due to lack of hand usage.
Hand Usage: Overall, Newman-Johnson is inconsistent in his hand usage. He will shoot his hands in his pass set but he needs to work on location and placement. Oftentimes, Newman-Johnson ends up grabbing the outside portions of defenders, which can lead to holding penalties.
Football IQ: At the offensive guard position, Newman-Johnson looks to have a pretty good grasp of positional awareness. In his pass set, he can identify delayed blitzers and pick up stunts. And in the run game, he does a good job identifying his assignment and works towards that player.
Versatility: Newman-Johnson’s overall size and length limits where he can play effectively along the offensive line. Newman-Johnson’s length lends him toward being an interior offensive lineman. He looks to have ideal size to be a center also.
Pass Sets: At the snap, Newman-Johnson uses a quick first step to beat defenders to a position so he can anchor on them, When engaged, Newman-Johnson does a good job of being able to move his feet and adjust to defenders’ counter moves. Newman-Johnson’s deficiencies in pass protection come when bigger defenders can convert speed to power and knock him back into the pocket.
Flexibility: Newman-Johnson’s good flexibility shows in multiple facets of his game. When in his pass sets, he is flexible enough to sink his hips and play with good leverage. This allows him to properly engage with defenders and also anchor with a good base for power. He also shows good flexibility in the run game in how he can come out of his hips and generate power to move defenders on the line of scrimmage.
TDN Consensus: 69.00/100 (Sixth Round Value)
Sanchez Grade: 69.00/100