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

Illinois defensive tackle Johnny Newton, the Big Ten defensive player of the year in 2023, did not do on-field work at the Scouting Combine after requiring postseason surgery to repair a Jones fracture.

The foot injury is fully healed, allowing Newton to participate in a Pro Day on Tuesday.

Newton did not go through testing but did participate in defensive line drills.

“A lot of teams had doubts that I was fast, my lateral movement,” Newton said, via Joey Wagner of the Illini Inquirer. “I just wanted to display that today and show them that I’m still a running back.”

According to Jordan Schultz of the Bleacher Report, the Bills, Cowboys, 49ers, Jets, Raiders, Saints, Jaguars, Commanders, Ravens, Browns, Cardinals, Bears, Broncos, Lions, Packers, Texans, Colts, Chargers, Dolphins, Giants and Eagles were represented at the workout.

Newton is projected as a first-round pick.

He made 187 tackles, 27.5 tackles for loss, 18 sacks and two forced fumbles in four college seasons.