2018 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Harrison Phillips

  • Harrison Phillips, 6-3/303

  • Defensive Tackle

  • Stanford

  • Harrison Phillips Scouting Report
    By Charlie Campbell

  • Excellent motor
  • Instinctive
  • Intelligent
  • Awareness
  • Developed strength
  • Overachiever
  • Good run defender versus single blocks
  • Plays with good leverage
  • Stays low at the point of attack
  • Gets tackles and sacks with relentless effort

  • Weaknesses:
  • Struggles with double teams
  • Struggles with bump blocks
  • Can get ridden out of his gap
  • Not a pro pass-rusher
  • Doesn't have a great body type for a NFL nose tackle
  • Lacks length
  • Shorter arms (33.75 inches)

  • Summary: Over the past few years, Stanford has produced a lot of tough, physical defensive linemen for the NFL. Solomon Thomas, David Parry and Henry Anderson are just a few of the Cardinal defenders to recently go pro. This year, Phillips will keep the tradition alive in the 2018 NFL Draft.

    Phillips started out his collegiate career as a backup before missing his sophomore season with an injury. As a junior, Phillips collected 46 tackles with 9.5 tackles for a loss and 6.5 sacks. It was an omen of things to come as Phillips turned himself into a NFL prospect with a tremendous senior season. He had 103 tackles with 17 tackles for a loss, 7.5 sacks and two forced fumbles over 2017.

    In the ground game, Phillips handles single blocks well. He has some developed upper body strength to fight off blockers, and he gives a relentless effort to flow to the ball. Phillips has good vision, instincts and intelligence that put him in good position to make tackles. He has a great motor and can make tackles or sacks just based on hustle.

    Phillips is a nose tackle, but he struggles to hold his ground against double teams, which has to change for him to get a lot of playing time in the NFL. Phillips struggles to hold his ground against the combination of a guard and a center, which can ride Phillips around the field. He gets pushed out of his gap to allow big holes. A lot of college defensive tackles struggle with bump blocks in the pro game. A bump block is when one offensive lineman engages a defensive lineman high and the other lineman crashes down on the side. A nose tackle in the NFL has to hold their ground against bump blocks and maintain gap integrity, or their defenses can get gashed up the middle. Phillips is going to need to vastly improve his ability to take on double teams and bump blocks in the NFL.

    Phillips does not project as a pass-rusher to the next level. He does not have possess elite quickness or athleticism at the point of attack to fire past guards with speed. Phillips can bull rush some guards, but quality NFL guards should be able to hold their ground against him. A lot of Phillips' sacks at Stanford won't translate to the NFL as they came on plays where he was blocked well for many seconds before he cleaned up a coverage sack. He wasn't beating lineman off the snap consistently enough in the pass rush to get viewed as an interior rusher.

    For the NFL, Phillips would fit as a nose tackle in a 4-3 defense. In a 3-4 defense, he would have to be a five-technique defensive end, but he also lacks length for that position.

    In speaking with a director of college scouting who was scouting at Stanford, they felt that Phillips is a mid-rounder. They said that Phillips struggles with double teams and has limitations as a pass-rusher for the NFL that push him down, but they think Phillips is a good run stuffer for the next level. They said his game is similar to former Stanford nose tackle David Parry. Others will probably grade Phillips higher.

    Player Comparison: David Parry. Similar to Phillips, Parry (6-2, 317) entered the NFL as nose tackle who had limitations as a pass-rusher. Parry was a fifth-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. Phillips could be a mid-rounder in the 2018 NFL Draft.

    NFL Matches: Tampa Bay, Washington, Arizona, Oakland, Los Angeles Chargers, Detroit, Buffalo, Atlanta and New England

    Phillips should have many options for a landing spot on the second day or in the mid-rounds of the 2018 NFL Draft.

    Tampa Bay needs to improve its line play on both sides of the ball. Phillips could eat up blocks to help free up Gerald McCoy. The Redskins need more talent in their front seven, and Phillips could give them a nose tackle to go with Jonathan Allen. Arizona missed Calais Campbell in 2017 and have Robert Nkemdiche bordering on being a bust. Phillips could get consideration for the Cardinals.

    Oakland badly needs more interior defensive line talent. Phillips could be a fit for the Raiders to give them more competition in the middle of their line. Staying in the AFC West, Phillips would make sense for the Chargers. Brandon Mebane is aging, and Corey Luiget is declining.

    The Lions need a tackle to go with A'Shawn Robinson, and Phillips would be a fit in Detroit. Buffalo could use an interior defender to replace Marcell Dareus, plus Kyle Williams is aging. Phillips could fit the Bills' defensive scheme as well. Atlanta also could use more interior defensive line talent.

    New England could use more young talent for its defensive front seven. Phillips could give the Patriots some rotational talent. Staying in the AFC East, Phillips could be in play for the Jets which has two second-round picks. They traded away Sheldon Richardson and face an uncertain future between themselves and Muhammad Wilkerson. If they move on from Wilkerson, Phillips could be a nose tackle to go with Leonard Williams.



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