Phillips’ No. 1 goal for the Cleveland Browns: Having 50 tackles
Jacob Phillips should be a reliable run defender for the Browns this season if he gets the meaningful opportunities. That should be the case, too, as Phillips is likely more reliable than say, second-year-man Sione Takitaki, who seemed to overrun plays often at BYU.
From there, assuming Phillips very well logs more snaps than the2019 third-round pick on the outside and B.J. Goodson in the middle in base situations, the LSU product in Phillips at least realistically should get his chances on early downs.
Phillips led a highly-talented LSU defense in 2019 with 113 tackles, which included 7.5 going for a loss. What really jumps out is that Phillips led the SEC in tackles, even with Baltimore Ravens first-round pick Patrick Queen on the same unit. That tackling acumen from Phillips could help the Browns early on, even if that’s mostly on early downs.
Phillips is a very sure tackler, and with him having a good chance to play in base 4-3 situations, 50 tackles seem reasonable and would indicate he could be a nice starting option for years to come. Of course, we will always take more, but starting with this amount feels fair — and like a solid stepping stone.