Saints in attendance at Illinois Pro Day with eyes on DT Johnny Newton

Newton was the Big 10 Defensive Player of the Year last season.

Illinois DT Johnny Newton draws a big crowd to his Pro Day - NBC Sports

The New Orleans Saints may still be looking for a boost to the defensive line via the 2024 NFL Draft.

According to a report from Bleacher Report’s Jordan Schultz, at least eight teams were in attendance at the Illinois Pro Day. Defensive Tackle Jer’Zhan (Johnny) Newton headlined the event as the only first-round projected prospect for Illinois.

Last season, the 6’2, 304-pound Newton recorded 26 solo tackles and eight sacks. He had the fourth-most sacks in the Big 10 last year in his twelve starts. He was named the 2023 Big 10 Defensive Player of the Year.

Last season, New Orleans aggressively drafted defensive linemen to improve from the lackluster performance in 2022. First-round pick Bryan Bresee had an impressive rookie season with 12 solo tackles and 4.5 sacks.

Perhaps the team believes that Bresee along with new additions like Chase Young need additional support to revolutionize the defensive line. Last season, New Orleans allowed 327 opponent yards which ranked 13th in the league.


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