After the 2018 NFL Draft, Newsome became the next “diamond in the rough” that the Chargers un-earthed at the running back position, just a year after the team found Austin Ekeler out of Division II Western State. A year later, Ekeler is now the team’s back-up ball-carrier (not to mention one of their top offensive weapons, in general) and Newsome sits as the fourth-string tailback but could still easily step up in a pinch.
College: Western Carolina
Years with team: 1
“Detrez Newsome signed a 3 year, $1,710,000 contract with the Los Angeles Chargers, including an average annual salary of $570,000. In 2019, Newsome will earn a base salary of $570,000, while carrying a cap hit of $570,000.”
In his lone preseason, Newsome took advantage of his increased reps while seventh-round pick Justin Jackson missed time with a lower-body injury. Newsome went on to lead the team in yards from scrimmage in the exhibition games, totaling 150 rushing yards and a pair of scores on 42 carries. He also added nine catches for an additional 66 yards.
Detrez Newsome with the 5-yard TD to make it 7-0, Bolts. pic.twitter.com/pUbPzDyhsf— Los Angeles Chargers (@Chargers) August 26, 2018
In the team’s second tilt with the Kansas City Chiefs, the Chargers were unfortunately without their top two backs. But what team’s can boast the type of college production that the Chargers have in their third and fourth-string RBs? Without skipping a beat, Newsome came into the game and rushed for 34 yards on six carries and took two catches for another 19, both of which went for crucial first downs.
I’m not sure how long the Chargers can keep Newsome around, but they are able to have a rare sense of security knowing that the sky can start falling and they would still be fairly safe at the running back position.
There really isn’t much to say that negative towards Newsome other than the fact he has ended up in a very deep position group. He can run it and receive it with equal effectiveness and has already shown the propensity to come through in clutch-situations.
Odds of making the roster/What to expect in 2019
I’d say that Newsome has a, roughly, 60% chance of making the roster. I actually believe the chance should be higher, but will depend on if Anthony Lynn wants to keep someone else from being claimed off waivers, like he did last year when he stuck Newsome on the practice squad to ensure Justin Jackson made it through.
Predictions for Newsome should all fall similarly to his production in 2018. The Chargers are probably good for at least one game where they can spare some garbage time snaps to the back-ups, especially if Lynn wants to put in more of an effort to keep the starters fresh down the stretch late in the season.
Fun Fact: Newsome left Western Carolina after rushing for 3,728 yards and 37 touchdowns, both good for 2nd in school history. He also hauled in 109 passes for another 962 yards and seven scores. His 46 total touchdowns leave him at the top for TDs in a career and his 6,969 all-purpose yards are also No.1 in school annals.