Jacob Phillips, Rookie: 6-foot-3, 229 pounds
Jacob Phillips is one of the many players taken in this year’s draft and he just so happened to fall into the Browns lap. Taken in the third round, the expectation for him is to fill the hole that Schobert has left. If he plays as he did in college, that expectation may become a reality.
Phillips played for three years at LSU and started in 2018 and 2019. His numbers are outstanding, to say the least. In 2018, the LSU product had 87 total tackles in which 32 of them were solo. He even had a pick-six during the season as well.
His numbers improved in 2019, as he had 113 total tackles, 56 of which were solo. In both of those starting seasons, he led the SEC in assisted tackles. Phillips even lead the conference in total tackles in 2019 and was fifth with his solo tackles. Knowing how good the SEC means that those feats are true accomplishments.
Phillips is built like a physical NFL linebacker with a 4.60 40-time to back it up. He helped lead on one of the better defenses in college football last year and was able to continue to produce even when the schedule became more difficult. If one of his teammates needs help with a tackle or is holding the runner up, Phillips is sure going to be there to finish the job.
He does not miss tackles and has proven to be productive. As he heads into camp, he needs to work on his coverage skills, as that was a big knock on him. He will also need to adjust to the speed of the NFL. He’s going to have to be able to play smart, fast, and confident if he wants to beat run-heavy and physical teams like the Ravens and Steelers two times a year.