Commanders select Newton in second round

Apr. 26—DETROIT — Johnny Newton has an NFL team he can call home now.

A day after not being one of the first 32 picks in the league's annual draft, the Washington Commanders chose the former Illinois All-American defensive tackle on Friday night with the 36th overall pick in the second round.

Former Washington Hall of Fame cornerback Darrell Green announced the pick.

Early in the season, Newton was considered a likely Top 10 pick. But Newton was slowed during the year by a foot injury that required surgery after his final college game.

Newton finished his Illinois career with 188 total tackles, including 18 sacks. That is tied for the fifth most in school history, a total shared by greats Kevin Hardy and Whitney Mercilus.

This is the second straight year Washington has taken an Illinois player in the second round, with the Commanders selecting defensive back Quan Martin.

Washington finished 4-13 last season and has a new coach in Dan Quinn for the 2024 season.