Football IQ - Slow processor that doesn't anticipate gaps to shoot or quickly transition into scrape or drops. He's often caught flowing away from the ball and is late to redirect himself. Lacks confidence in space to carry routes and doesn't appear to illustrate desirable peripheral vision.
Tackling - He's pretty stout here. Good short area burst and possesses plenty of upper body strength to wrap up and finish. He'll bring the feet through contact and finish sufficiently. His iso reps in the alley can be hit or miss just because he's prone to catching when he knows he's one on one.
Block Shedding - He's offered some fair reps in both stacking blocks with his hands or plugging up gaps with hips pads. His lateral mobility isn't great to pull off and disengage. He's not fluid enough to consistently peel off of blockers and uncover in the hole.
Competitive Toughness - His effort is strong. Appreciate his linear burst and flow to try to rally to the football. Definitely a try hard who will make second effort plays if he's able. His functional strength is adequate and he's got some short area coil to him that allows him to deliver blows to ball carriers or blockers.
Lateral Mobility - He's not great here, namely because he's got some tightness in the hips when trying to hinge and fly open to the sideline. He's slow to process too and as a result he'll often overrun by opening his strides and trying to work back into the hip of the ball carrier on outside runs.
Coverage Skills - Needs a lot of work here. He offers almost zero feel for routes carried into his space and doesn't hinge and open to shade his landmarks as routes peel around him in the peripherals. Doesn't have dynamic athleticism in the open space to lengthen himself and challenge the football while it is in the air.
Gap Shooting Ability - Rarely, if ever, takes a gap as it develops in front of his face. There's are ample opportunities for him to attack, play forward and make splash plays but he either doesn't see them or doesn't attack them by choice. Backfield production isn't going to be an area he contributes without a lot of work.
Feet/COD - He's a bit duck footed and he'll often hop into his redirections in order to gather his momentum. There's issues with constant redirections and that makes him a pretty easy target to pick up angles for when you're looking to attack him on the second level. Stale laterally.
Flexibility - Restricted in lateral scenarios or in zone drops to adequately get depth off the LOS. There's a lot of issues with his hip/pad level in stance, too — there's problems with keeping his center of gravity low, which further complicates his ability to redirect and change directions with quickness.
First Step Explosiveness - If you ask him to trigger down hill or in a straight line, you actually get pretty solid results. He's got some spring and can open his strides to eat up turf. Don't get him flat footed or he'll struggle to build up speed but when he's seeing a play develop and gets himself aligned he can cover some significant ground.
Best Trait - First Step Quickness
Worst Trait - Football IQ
Best Film - Arkansas (2019)
Worst Film - Alabama (2019)
Red Flags - None
Summary - Jacob Phillips projects as a depth player and developmental linebacker at the NFL level. Phillips struggles with consistently processing action in the backfield and too often looks lost on the second level. Without high end anticipation and with only modest redirection and scrape ability, Phillips is going to need significant development to reach starting caliber. Instead, he can be utilized in kick coverage, where his straight line speed and viable tackling habits can make positive contributions.