Sports Outside the Beltway

NFL Draft 2008 – Round 1 #31 New York Giants – S Kenny Phillips

NFL Draft 2008 Logo The Super Bowl champion New York Giants have the 32nd and final selection in the 1st round of the 2008 NFL Draft. (Actually, it’s the 31st, but I like to keep the placeholder to remind everyone of the pick the Pats forfeited for cheating.)

The team obvious does not have a lot of holes and has the luxury of drafting the best available athlete.

The pick is in: Kenny Phillips, S, Miami

Scouts, Inc.: 44

Strengths: Continues to add bulk to his frame while maintaining competitive speed for the position. Changes directions well, shows good burst out of cuts and is capable of matching up with slot receivers as well as tight ends in man coverage. Times jumps well, fights for the ball while it’s in the air and can come down with jump balls. He fills hard when he reads run, closes well and looks to make the occasional kill shot when it’s lined up. Flashes ability to read routes well, shows good range in zone coverage when he diagnoses the play on time and he has enough athleticism to cover the deep middle on those occasions. Vocal, gets teammates into position and is a leader on the field.

Weaknesses: Doesn’t read keys all that well and takes too many false steps. Is undisciplined at times and compromises the defensive scheme as a result. Has the second gear to recover in most situations but can be overaggressive, is vulnerable to play action and gets caught out of position too much. Flashes the ability to deliver the big hit but he will back down from some challenges he’s not certain he can win, as well. Lacks elite ball skills; a prospect with his natural ability should be more of a playmaker. Takes too long to shed blocks, occasionally avoids contact and is going to be more effective playing off the line than he’ll be lining up in the box. Takes some poor angles to the ball, can overrun plays and should make more plays in pursuit. Durability is somewhat of a concern; missed the final three games of the 2006 season with a broken thumb and battled a lingering ankle injury in 2007.

Overall: Phillips started the final 11 games of his true freshman season in 2004 finishing with 88 tackles including 58 unassisted tackles and three tackles-for-loss. He also recorded an interception, a fumble recovery and four pass breakups that year. Phillips started the nine games he appeared in during the 2005 season finishing with 71 tackles including six tackles-for loss. He also recorded four interceptions and six pass breakups up that year. Phillips started the 11 games he played in during the 2007 season finishing with 82 total tackles including 54 unassisted tackles and six tackles-for-loss. He also recorded two interceptions, five pass breakups and three forced fumbles last year. Phillips took a step backwards as a junior and would have been better served by returning to school for his senior year. While part of his struggles can be chalked up to a lingering ankle injury that limited his range a bit, it still doesn’t explain his inconsistent recognition skills and failure to play with the same passion on an every down-basis. If properly developed and motivated, Phillips can emerge as a versatile starting safety in the NFL. However, Phillips’ ceiling is not nearly as high as some of the past great Hurricane safeties, which is why we tag him with a fringe first-round grade.

Rick Gosselin: 33

The consensus best safety in the draft is a reasonable pick at this point and fills a “need” created by the loss of David Tyree. A solid pick.

Related Stories:
Recent Stories:

Comments are Closed


Visitors Since Feb. 4, 2003

All original content copyright 2003-2008 by OTB Media. All rights reserved.