Third round, 97th overall pick: Jacob Phillips
Like his teammate Grant Delpit, 2020 has been pretty good to Jacob Phillips. The former LSU linebacker earned a national championship ring along with a very nice contract to make him almost a millionaire straight out of college.
Phillips’ rookie contract is a four-year, $4,499,405 contract with the Cleveland Browns and has his signing bonus of $832,296 completely guaranteed. The only difference between Phillips’ and Elliott’s rookie deals is Elliott is making around $100,000 more than Elliott over the span of four years. That’s the difference between a few picks in the NFL draft for you.
Phillips should get a chance right away to prove he is worth his contract and then some, as the Browns linebacker room is a huge mystery on the team. It’s likely the duo of Phillips and Mack Wilson are the starting linebackers at some point this season, especially if the Browns decide to go with a 4-2-5 defense.
The 97th pick has been a little more successful for NFL teams than the 88th overall pick in recent years, but not by much. The last three 97th overall picks have been offensive lineman Bobby Evans, offensive lineman Mason Cole, and cornerback Cordea Tankersly, for the Rams, Cardinals, and Dolphins respectively.
Cole and Tankersly both started every game they were active for their rookie seasons but lost their starting roles in their sophomore seasons. Cole is currently penciled in to start again for the Cardinals, while Tankersly was out with a knee injury last season and is still recovering.
For comparison, Bobby Evans, the 2019 97th overall pick, signed a four-year, $3,513,891 with the Rams, with a signing bonus of $822,180.