NFL Draft

2017 NFL Draft Player Profiles: Illinois OLB Carroll Phillips

From now until the 2017 NFL Draft takes place, we hope to showcase as many prospects as possible and examine both their strengths and weaknesses. Most of these profiles will feature individuals that the Pittsburgh Steelers are likely to have an interest in, while a few others will be top-ranked players. If there is a player you would like us to analyze, let us know in the comments below.

Carroll Phillips/OLB Illinois – 6’3/2 242

The Good

– Good frame, ability to add weight, with great length (33 3/4 inch arms)
– Above average athlete, fluid and easy mover
– High effort player, no loafs, and chases the ball away from him as well as downfield
– Keeps vision on the football in the run game, does nice job staying on his feet and competitive in this phase of the game
– Shows above average get off as a pass rusher
– Will flash a strong punch and shows ability to convert speed to power but wildly inconsistent
– Productive senior season

The Bad

– Highly inconsistent pass rusher who routinely underwhelmed on tape
– Lacks a go-to pass rush move, isn’t dominant in any way and often stuck on blocks as a result
– Struggles to bend the edge and won’t win unless he can beat the tackle with his first step, lacks flexibility and too often run up the arc
– Will show an inside spin as a counter but too often happens late in the rush to make an impact
– Doesn’t have great upper body strength and can get pushed around against the run
– Beat up on lower competition to inflate numbers
– Little to no experience dropping into coverage or playing with his hand up, almost all snaps came at RDE in a left-handed stance
– Seemed to struggle with taking coaching right away, had rough Senior Bowl week with the details
– Taken off the field in some key situations, unsure why
– Lacks starting experience and only has one year of notable production
– Older than your typical prospect


– 14 career starts, 11 in senior year
– Career: 88 tackles, 25.5 TFL, 12 sacks
– 2016: 56 tackles 20 TFL, 9 sacks
– Spent one year at a JUCO out of high school
– Will turn 25 in September
– Only had two games with more than one sack in his career

Tape Breakdown

Phillips is a guy we’ve told you about since the Senior Bowl. Someone the Steelers had interest in and his pre-draft visit confirms that. But that doesn’t mean we have to like him as a prospect and let me be up front about it – I’m not a fan.

On the plus side, Phillips is a strong athlete. No issue there. Ran well at the Combine, the low 4.6’s and it matches up on tape. He’s got strong effort to the football, chasing it all over the place. Like here, chasing the ball away from him and making the play. Phillips is #6, the right DE in these clips.

But man, his tape is so hot and cold and often time, it’s the latter. Still doesn’t have a go-to pass rush move and often times, he’s just hand fighting with the tackle without actually going anywhere.

Or getting run up the arc, simply not having the flexibility to turn the edge and not matching up with his 7.06 three cone, a pretty solid number.

I got my first exposure to Phillips at the Senior Bowl. He flashed that first step and athleticism but coaches and players repeatedly had to help him line up and he struggled with picking up drills and going through them mistake free. Reminds me of Howard Jones, in that regard, and pretty much everywhere else.

If he wasn’t 25 years old, maybe he’d be worth taking a flier on. But he’s too old, too raw for me to want to see this guy in Pittsburgh. I think he’ll go higher than I’d value him.

Projection: Mid Day Three (Late 5th-Mid 6th)

Games Watched: at Nebraska, at Michigan, vs Northwestern, Senior Bowl

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Chidobe Awuzie DeShone Kizer Marlon Mack Cameron Sutton Zach Cunningham
Corey Davis Carl Lawson Patrick Mahomes Kareem Hunt Evan Engram
Derek Rivers Ryan Anderson Joshua Dobbs Jordan Leggett Samaje Perine
Corn Elder Bucky Hodges James Conner Cooper Kupp Stanley Williams
Fred Ross Jamaal Williams George Kittle Ejuan Price Chris Wormley
Jeremy McNichols Joe Mathis Derek Barnett Amba Etta-Tawo Gareon Conley
Taco Charlton  Elijah McGuire Ryan Switzer Tanoh Kpassagnon Tre’Davious White
Brian Hill Matthew Dayes Donnel Pumphrey Josh Reynolds Nazair Jones
De’Veon Smith Davis Webb Obi Melifonwu TJ Watt John Ross
Jerod Evans Vince Biegel Josh Carraway Josh Malone Kevin King
Fadol Brown Chris Godwin Nate Gerry Jordan Willis Stacy Coley
Zay Jones Jimmie Gilbert Glen Antoine Tarell Basham Duke Riley
Rayshawn Jenkins Chad Kelly Trey Hendrickson Jeremy Sprinkle Joe Williams
D’Onta Foreman Carlos Watkins Damontae Kazee Wayne Gallman Willie Quinn
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Montravius Adams Aaron Jones Mack Hollins Deatrich Wise Jr Adoree’ Jackson
JuJu Smith-Schuster Josh Jones Davon Godchaux Lorenzo Jerome Quincy Wilson
Stevie Tu’ikolovatu Mike Williams Ahkello Witherspoon Dede Westbrook Tedric Thompson
Marcus Maye Joe Mixon Taywan Taylor Tyson Fernandez Jarrad Davis
Ishmael Zamora Daeshon Hall CJ Beathard Kendell Beckwith Jalen Reeves-Maybin
Rasul Douglas Marcus Williams Devonte Fields Justin Evans Kenny Golladay
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