Prospect’s pre-draft injury might be reason for Falcons passing

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 11 Indiana at Illinois

The Falcons shocked the entire world when they took Michael Penix with their top draft pick, but it was hardly the only stunning move of the 2024 NFL Draft.

With their second-round pick, Atlanta traded up to the 35th pick, parting ways with one of their third-rounders, with a ton of interesting prospects on the board.

Several cornerbacks were available and would’ve filled a huge roster need — Cooper DeJean, Kool-Aid McKinstry, and Kamari Lassiter to name a few. However, there was another defender that many believed to be the best player available — Johnny Newton.

The Illinois product is a rare talent on the interior that would’ve bolstered in an area of strength along the interior with Grady Jarrett and David Onyemata. His special combination of size and quickness made him a favorite of many Falcons fans.

However, the Falcons ended up taking Ruke Orhorhoro instead, raising questions as to what the hell was Atlanta seeing. Well, it seems a pre-draft injury contributed to the Falcons passing on Newton in favor of Orhorhoro.

Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk revealed that Newton is having surgery to repair a Jones fracture, which is the same injury and surgery that he had earlier in the season on the other foot.

Johnny Newton is a hell of a prospect, but no level of talent is enough to overcome injuries. Ruke Orhorhoro has all of the physical talent in the world; however, he’s a raw product and could be seen as a ball of clay.

If you’re Raheem Morris and believe in the coaching staff you put together, you bet on the upside of Orhorhoro over the injury concerns of Newton.

Photographer: James Black/Icon Sportswire
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