Position: Interior defender
Weight: 307 pounds
School: Stanford Cardinal
Combine Performance Data
40-yard dash: 5.21 seconds
Bench press: 42 reps (best at 2018 NFL Combine)
Vertical jump: 32 inches
Broad jump: 8 feet, 7 inches
Three-cone drill: 7.28 seconds
20-yard shuttle: 4.50 seconds
Harrison Phillips 2018 NFL Draft Profile
Harrison Phillips excelled on the gridiron in high school. But he was also a standout wrestler who lettered in all of his four years at Millard West High in Omaha, NE. It included winning a national heavyweight title as a junior. That uniquely tailored skill set he acquired as a grappler shows up in many of the traits he exhibits on the defensive front. Phillips received five scholarship offers from major programs including Nebraska. But he decided against staying in-state, instead heading out west to play for David Shaw at Stanford.
Phillips played sparingly as a true freshman, appearing in just six games. Then he lost pretty much the entire 2015 season when he suffered a torn ACL in the season opener against Northwestern. A year later he made up for lost time, registering 10 tackles for loss and seven sacks, the latter of which was second on the team behind eventual 2017 third overall pick Solomon Thomas. But he truly put it all together in 2017 which is part of the reason he’s as highly regarded as he currently is among talent evaluators.
Not only did Phillips lead all Cardinal players with 17 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks, the former of which ranked second in the Pac-12 behind Hercules Mata’afa. He finished with 103 total tackles, an absurd number for a defensive lineman. In fact, no other defensive tackle/end in FBS even eclipsed the century mark in tackles last season. As a result, Phillips made first-team All-Pac-12 as well as being named to the Associated Press All-American third team.
- plays stronger than his size and overall stature suggests;
- exceptional diagnose and contain instincts;
- utilizes immense core strength to uncoil hips and out-leverage blockers;
- doesn’t get glued to blocks but rather disengages to plug gaps;
- upper body power and active hands allow him to ward off and shed laterally;
- takes optimum pursuit arcs in pass rush situations to get to the quarterback;
- high character individual who’ll be active in the community wherever he goes.
- frame is a bit linear and maybe not as low to the ground as you’d like out of an interior defender;
- plays a little too upright with not enough flex in knees;
- narrow base and too much forward lean can cause balance issues;
- can get neutralized by linemen with good combination of technique and play strength;
- might not have the sheer athleticism to excel at three-technique;
- overly relies on finesse in shedding laterally rather than taking a blocker head on with power rush;
- a bit one-dimensional in terms of pass rush moves at his disposal.
NFL Comparison: Derek Wolfe
Teams With Need at Position: Atlanta Falcons, Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars, Los Angeles Chargers, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Washington Redskins
Projection: Late first to early second round
The common perception among scouts regarding Phillips is that his body type resembles that of an offensive guard rather than a nose guard. It gives him a tendency to play with too high a center of gravity which sacrifices optimum leverage against physical brutes at the line of scrimmage. But his raw stats, especially last year, demonstrate his ability to make plays. He does so with a unique ability to disengage blocks while reading and reacting to the play. Add in his freakish upper body strength which he showed at the Combine and you have a prospect who can certainly compete for starter reps early on in his pro career.