NFL DraftScouting Reports

2023 NFL Draft Diamonds Scouting Report: Jimmy Phillips Jr., OLB, SMU

Jimmy Phillips Jr is a versatile athlete and fearless hitter in the SMU defense. Hula Bowl scout Victor Horn breaks down the strengths and weaknesses of Phillips as an NFL Prospect in this article.
Jimmy Phillips Jr is a versatile athlete and fearless hitter in the SMU defense. Hula Bowl scout Victor Horn breaks down the strengths and weaknesses of Phillips as an NFL Prospect in this article.

Player Data

Name, Jersey #Jimmy Phillips Jr. # 6
School (Code)TXMU
DOB, Class YrRSR
Height, Weight6015, 236
40 Yd Dash4.79
Arms, Hands3234, 0978
Position/DepthOLB, Starter
Honors/CaptainshipPFF All-ACC Honorable Mention
American Athletic Conference All-Academic Team
Season Viewed (yr)2020, 2021
Games WatchedOHCI (2020), TXNO (2021), LATU (2021)
Scout Name / DateVictor Horn, 10/4/2022

Per Year Stats (Most Recent First)

20224 GP, 23 TOT (15 SOLO), 4 TFL, 2 PD
202112 GP, 60 TOT (39 SOLO), 5.5 TFL, 1 INT, 1 FF, 1 BLK, 2 PD
202010 GP, 23 TOT (19 SOLO), 1.5 TFL, 1 SACK, 1 INT, 1 PD
201913 GP, 9 TOT (7 SOLO), 1 TFL, 1 PD
201811 GP, 2 TOT (2 SOLO)

Player Summary:

Jimmy Phillips Jr. has the average NFL size LB body frame with limb appropriations, reminiscent of a Mack Wilson. In 2021, he was second in leading the team in tackles. He plays in a TXMU multiple 3 and 4-man front playing on the weak side of an offensive formation as the OLB. Plays fearless, unafraid of being physical at the point of contact and  will willingly stick his head in the pile looking for a play to make. In TXMU run defense, Phillips plays a very slow read and less of an aggressive style which attributes to his delayed decision making of how to execute the play, and whether it is a run or pass. Appears to play as a reactionary run supporter, this could be due to his lack of immediate, urgent downhill necessary steps to the gap of the potential run play. When he comes downhill, his feet stutter step instead of toe pointing and heading to the play gap, this allows the OL to get off the ball and eases the ability for Phillips to be blocked. Also, his run defending technique while engaged with OL is below-average. Doesn’t use hands as effectively to shed blocks, makes body frame blockable for the OL once their hands are on Phillips there is difficulty getting off the block and to make the play, disrupt it. He is physical at the point of contact but has a habit of catching the block at or near the defensive second level instead of beating the OL with speed and aggression at/near the LOS. Does well on run plays with TE as the blocker. Delivers a good blow and does not give up any ground, although may get forced out of certain run plays. Not utilized much as a run or pass blitzer, but when blitzing is usually on a run play which he makes his presence known by making the tackle before the play fully develops or effecting the play for it to be broken. Shows good pad level in zone pass defense and plays a lot in the curl/hook zone in TXMU defense due to his body frame which may cause QBs difficulty seeing that particular window. Not a speedy LB but gives good pursuit ability to the ball in the open field.

Scheme Fit

LB in 4-2, 4-3 Front

Fanfield.io

Power Statement:

Has the ability to be an NFL OLB with size, good lateral movement, physicality, and intensity. Can be more productive near the LOS coming off the edge or a blitz package specialist. Doesn’t produce much although showcases a lot of playmaking ability in a non-attacking defense which also gives Phillips upside if used in an attacking defense. Exhibits below-average usage with hands and feet technicalities which exposes his current inability to be an effective run stopper. Needs more work in the run game versus OL regarding physical awareness and an understanding of the proper angles to take.

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