LSU

LSU LB Jacob Phillips Could Provide Valuable LB Depth for Cowboys

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The Dallas Cowboys’ main focus in the NFL Draft will be improving their defensive unit. They got a head start in free agency with the additions of Gerald McCoy, Dontari Poe, and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. Jaylon Smith is the man at middle linebacker, however, the Cowboys could use some depth at the position with Leighton Vander Esch coming back from a neck injury and veteran Sean Lee entering year 11. LSU linebacker Jacob Phillips is an underrated name that could help the Cowboys strengthen this particular area.

Phillips appeared in 12 games as a freshman in 2017 and produced 18 tackles. As a sophomore, he started 11 of 12 games and finished with 87 tackles (5.5 tackles for loss), a sack, an interception (returned for a touchdown), and three passes defended. His junior season would be his best as he registered 113 tackles (7.5 tackles for loss), a sack, and a forced fumble.

He may have only run a 4.66 at the NFL Scouting Combine but he had some other pretty impressive numbers. Phillips posted a 39-inch vertical and a 126-inch broad jump, ranking third and sixth respectively for all linebackers. Also, his 4.33 in the 20-yard shuttle which was faster than some of the top wide receiver and running back prospects.

The tackling machine showed a knack for performing in the biggest games for LSU in 2019. He recorded seven tackles in victories vs Auburn and Alabama. In the National Semifinal against Oklahoma, he had eight tackles and repeated that in the CFP National Championship Game vs Clemson as LSU was crowned the kings of college football.

Watch “Jacob Phillips LSU 2018-2019 Highlights ll Bayoubandits” on YouTube

Scouting report according to NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein¬†

“Phillips is a reliable option but lacks the alpha field demeanor and explosive athleticism teams look for. He has the backup talent and should step into a special teams role quickly. The early tape was better than later tape as the competition level increased. He does an adequate job of handling his assignments but won’t make that many plays outside of the scheme.”

Phillips would give the Cowboys some valuable depth behind their three top linebackers as well as some special teams help to cover kicks and punts. Keep an eye out for him on day three of the draft.

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