LB Jacob Phillips, Louisiana St.*

6’4” – 229 lbs. – 4.66

Five-star recruit who appeared in twelve games as a freshman and finished with 18 tackles. Stepped into a starting role the following year and finished with 87-5.5-1.0. Led the team in tackles as a junior with 113-7.5-1.0, then declared for the draft. Tall and long-limbed for a pro linebacker prospect, but with bulk which is on the low end of what teams look for.

Lined up in the middle for the Tigers, but could conceivably also project to the weakside at the next level. An impressive athlete who has solid speed to pursue plays toward the sidelines, and who plays with some urgency and aggressiveness; demonstrates a strong motor in pursuit. Ability to read keys is adequate, if slightly slow; does take some false steps but rarely removes himself from the play completely. Has decent discipline in the team’s run fits, without too many instances of overrunning the gap. Does a pretty good job of keeping his shoulders square when working between the tackles. At his best, is able to flow laterally and use his length to sling down runners. Also has pretty impressive burst to close on a spot. Length gives him a wide tackling radius and looked pretty reliable within it. However, as a relatively undersized linebacker, may need to play in a scheme which keeps him clean with big linemen up front.

Stayed on the field for passing downs, with some relatively varied responsibilities; wasn’t asked to do much work in man coverage, although he looks comfortable carrying running backs into the flats and has the type of physical and athletic profile that might allow him to work against tight ends in man coverage. Would occasionally shade over receivers and does a good job of getting depth in his drops, keeping the play in front of him, and driving on a spot to limit yards after the catch. Most commonly working in zones or as a quarterback spy. Gets to his spot quickly and can close quickly once he’s made his read. Does a good job of putting pressure on opposing quarterbacks when spying, although his actual production as a pass-rusher was minimal.

A tall, long-limbed run-and-hit linebacker with the motor and athleticism to play at the next level, but who can sometimes be a little bit tentative when making his reads and may have benefited from returning to school for another year to polish his instincts. Looks like a mid-rounder, but in a relatively thin linebacker class, he could go higher.

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