Breakdown: Dolphins Select Jordan Phillips

Everything you need to know about the Miami Dolphins’ second-round selection of defensive tackle Jordan Phillips out of Oklahoma from Scout's college and pro football experts.

Awaiting Image
Jordan Phillips
Oklahoma / 6'5 / 329 lbs
  • DT
  • [2] #20

Analysis

Phillips started his final 17 games in Norman. This guy is a big, physical specimen. Phillips is mammoth 6-foot-5, 329-pound defensive tackle/nose guard. For his size, he possesses excellent short area quickness and agility. Phillips gets off the ball well and strong at the point of attack. But he doesn’t play with good leverage and that really hurts him especially considering his height. This is a player you would like to see give better effort on a more consistent down to down basis.

Dave-Te' Thomas Player Evaluation

Instant Analysis from Scout's Jamie Newberg:

Miami found a nice d-tackle partner to Suh in the middle of their front in Jordan Phillips. He started his final 17 games in Norman. This guy is a big, physical specimen. Phillips is mammoth 6-foot-5, 329-pound defensive tackle/nose guard. For his size, he possesses excellent short area quickness and agility. Phillips gets off the ball well and strong at the point of attack. But he doesn’t play with good leverage and that really hurts him especially considering his height. This is a player you would like to see give better effort on a more consistent down to down basis.

Report from NFL Scouting Services' Dave-Te' Thomas:

Jordan Phillips will certainly garner a lot of attention from teams leading up to the draft, thanks to his size, quickness, strength and athleticism, but there are two major issues a team needs to address before they can invest an early round draft pick in the Sooner – full confidence that his 2013 back issues are a thing of the past (remember Justin Harrell?) and what will it take to make sure his motor keeps running?

There is no questioning Phillips’ athletic ability – when healthy. He has that quick first step to penetrate when working the one-gap responsibility. He has the burst to get into the backfield and blow past a lethargic blocker, but he needs to do a better job of finding the ball and finishing plays in the backfield. He has more than enough strength and balance to win most one-on-one confrontations, but he did not always generate the lateral mobility needed to work down the line and get involved in the play on the outside (perhaps still recovering from 2013 back woes?).

Phillips’ trouble occur when he fails to play with a consistent pad level, as he will often just turn his back or stall when challenged by double teams. He also has a habit of turning his shoulders when he fails to gain advantage with his initial move. When he gets frustrated and fails to utilize his arms to keep blockers off his body, he can be washed down the line and his motor shuts down.

Phillips is never going to be hailed as a pass rusher in the John Randle mold. But he has the strength to generate a good bull rush and once he gets past the line of scrimmage he can collapse the pocket from inside. His two sacks in 2014 came when he executed a spin move but he was often stalled when he came off the snap too high.

For a player with his size and strength, it is puzzling how he struggles to split the double team activity. With seven tackles-for-loss as a junior he had a functional closing burst. But his one pressure showed his inconsistency in getting to the quarterback, even when he had a clean path to the opponent.

Phillips has very good short-area quickness for his size and the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine was a great opportunity for him to show off his nimble on feet. You can see that he has a quick initial step, but he really needs to improve his snap anticipation. With those big hands somebody needs to show him how to use them quicker, especially when having to attempt to discard blocks.

For a nose guard, Phillips possesses good range and lateral quickness, to be highly effective at executing defensive line twists, but those moments also highlight his motor inconsistency, as too often he will disappear throughout the course of games (more of a one-move guy who shuts down when that fails.) It is not like Phillips lacks stamina, but you just want better effort from him, because you know his athleticism could make plays that others at his position only wish that they had that talent level.

Phillips is nimble enough to make plays on the move and will flash some pursuit effort that really impresses. The problem is, when you study his effort, the times he starts to quit on plays are almost always when he loses the initial battle, especially vs. the double-team, where his effort is generally poor.

Jordan Phillips NFL Scouting Combine measurables


6-5/329 (5.21 forty)
34 3/4-inch arm length
9 3/8-inch hands
28-reps
30-inch vertical jump
105-inch broad jump
7.80 3 cone drill
4.68 20 yard shuttle

Dave-Te’ Thomas is a sports writer, talent evaluator and scouting personnel consultant for a majority of teams in the National Football League. Thomas runs a scouting information service called NFL Scouting Services and produces THE NFL Draft Report, a publication provided by league headquarters to the media in preparation for the NFL Draft.

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