Third Round (Pick #91) – LB Jacob Phillips, LSU
"It sounds like Cleveland will lose Joe Schobert to free agency, so here’s a potential replacement. Jacob Phillips has been an extremely productive linebacker for LSU. The physical defender was a five-star recruit. Pick change; previously Robert Hunt, OT"
Hard pass on Jacob Phillips at linebacker. He was a good, not great, linebacker for LSU. They had a lot of good defensive players these last two years, but that doesn’t mean that Phillips is one of them. The concern that people should have with Phillips is his sideline to sideline speed. He’s not the athlete people see him as, and considering how well Joe Schobert played and how good his combine stats were in the agility drills, anyone who replaces him is going to need to be as quick.
Phillips, in every category other than the 40-yard dash, failed to match Schobert. He’s not as strong as Schobert, not as quick as Schobert and not the same type of prospect Schobet was. He’s also lighter and less physical as well.
However, there is an idea if the Browns really want him. Who says Phillips has to play linebacker? At 229lbs, he’s a pretty light linebacker. Schobert was nearly 250 and he shed weight in the NFL. Let’s assume that Phillips does too. Schobert lost about 15 pounds due to learning how to prep food and eat properly. Let’s say Phillips loses that. He’s now about 214lbs give or take. With a 4.66 40-yard dash? He’s not overly athletic but this team needs safety help. Why not think about moving Phillips to the safety position? You don’t need as much lateral quickness as a safety, compared to that of a corner or linebacker. He’s also plenty fast enough to get back in coverage. It could be an idea.
As a middle linebacker, however, no thank you.