Cleveland Browns: 3 early standouts at 2022 OTAs

Browns, Jacob Phillips. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Browns, Jacob Phillips. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports /
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Cleveland Browns
Jun 16, 2021; Berea, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns linebacker Jacob Phillips (50) makes a catch during minicamp at the Cleveland Browns training facility. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports /

Cleveland Browns OTA standout No. 1: Jacob Phillips, LB

Pick Analysis. Browns. JacobPhillips. player. Scouting Report. LB. 1. 53

A third-round pick out of LSU in 2020, Jacob Phillips was a tacking machine during his collegiate days but was often overshadowed by Patrick Queen. Since joining the Browns, he’s shown off his individual talent and proven to be a potential playmaker at the NFL level.

The problem is that he’s struggled to stay healthy so far in his young career. Phillips played in just nine games in 2020, missing the bulk of midseason. He played well to end the year, however, and hopes were high for 2021.

Unfortunately, he was slowed again due to injuries as a torn biceps cost him all but four games. He was able to bounce back and even had nine tackles and two pass defenses in the win over Cincinnati to close out the season, again setting us up for excitement this year.

So far, he’s been making good on that excitement as Phillips has been getting his share of reps with the first-team defense at middle linebacker, with last year’s starting MIKE, Anthony Walker, trying his hand on the outside.

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Phillips looks poised and healthy and is already turning heads in practices. Of course, the question will always be whether or not he stays on the field. If he can accomplish that, this could finally be the season he breaks out as a star.