ATB Draft Profile: Harrison Phillips
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be looking in the draft to continue their improvements on the defensive side of the ball. One possibility could be Harrison Phillips.
Who is Harrison Phillips?
Harrison Phillips is a man-beast defensive tackle out of Stanford. This monster has a lot of traits that we Buccaneer fans love to see out of DT. How can we recognize these traits? We have to see the best defensive tackles to ever walk the planet dominate from the red and pewter in Warren Sapp. Phillips just happens to be one of my personal favorite players in this year’s upcoming NFL Draft. What I hope to do with this article is show you, the best fans the NFL has ever seen, why he should be one of yours too.
What surprised me the most is that I didn’t know before watching his tape, and checking his stats, is that he rushed the passer pretty well. Seven, and seven-plus sacks from a defensive tackle position in back to back years. That’s impressive! What may be even more impressive is the fact that this man was in on close to 100 tackles. Yeah, you read that right. 100 tackles. This guy has a relentless motor. Yeah, *insert the obligatory eye roll here*, I know we’ve heard that before countless times. For Harrison Phillips, it clearly shows on tape. So let’s get into it, shall we?
Tape Don’t Lie
Phillips’ hand usage and placement are some of the best I’ve seen. He gets them in the right spot very quickly which allows him to move and direct his man. His best move is his “push-pull” technique by far and he’s elite at it. Watch below as the tape displays just what I mean when we talk about a “Push-Pull”.
In the play above is the perfect illustration of Phillips standing his guy straight up with full extension of his arms. He uses his brute strength to (push) hold off his opposition, locate the ballcarrier, then pull him away from him to attack the ballcarrier and make the tackle.
Here is another example:
This play is one of many examples of how elite Phillips is in run defense. Notice how quick he is off the snap. He gets his hands right on the offensive guard, extends his arm and allows himself to be able to see into the backfield. He then spots the ballcarrier and unleashes on him wrapping him up in a Harrison Phillips sandwich for the tackle.
I could post countless gifs of the same style of play from Phillips. So, to paint a complete picture of why I love him so much (insert the heart eyes emoji) let’s move on.
Let me see you “One-Two” step
For as stout as Phillips is in run defense, he has a deceptively quick first step. Especially when Harrison recognizes what a play might be or where it’s going. Now, let me say that I have no idea if this is because he’s just a bull in a china shop and lucks into these things or he does his homework on opposing offenses and reads his keys.
In the play above watch how quickly Phillips gets off the ball and into his gap responsibility to stop the ballcarrier dead in his tracks. The center has no idea who or what just blew past him. Would you wanna be that center going back to the huddle? I don’t know this, but I bet his QB death-stared him into oblivion.
This next clip below is a different game against UCLA but Phillips still brings the pain. Arguably one of 2018’s best QBs Josh Rosen snaps the ball but clearly isn’t expecting a pass rush from the interior of the defensive line. Harrison uses his quick burst to stun the offensive line and gets the sack because of his continued effort. Warren Sapp used to say, stop the run on the way to the quarterback. That is a philosophy that I have always looked for since it was a mantra from one of the best defensive tackles to ever suit up. Harrison Phillips does this extremely well. He is a run-stopping defensive tackle first and foremost. What I didn’t know before starting to look into him is that he gets after the passer as well too. As evidenced by his 16.5 sacks over the last two years.
Attitude for days
This kid brings “IT” every snap. He is the immovable object that people talk about going up against the unstoppable force. This play below is that exact battle. Check the tape below. That is none other than Mr. Quenton Nelson himself. One of the best offensive line prospects to come out of college in some time. Phillips and Nelson go head-to-head and Phillips remains stout, allowing his linebacker to roam free and make the tackle in the backfield. Harrison Phillips did all the dirty work in that play. That’s a man right there!
This last play I want to illustrate is Phillips at his best. In my opinion anyway. He, again, uses his leverage, arm-strength, and technique to be completely stout in the run game. He allows his linebacker to run full speed down hill and take on the ballcarrier. This is great for a team who has great linebackers like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This is teamwork at it’s best. Both Stanford players maintain their gap, Phillips keeps his defender at arm’s length allowing himself AND his LB to see the runner and stop him before he gets his motor churning. I love it! It’s that kind of attitude I want my defensive lineman to have. Can you imagine what Lavonte David, Kwon Alexander, and Kendall Beckwith can do playing behind a man like that? I can.
Should he be a Tampa Bay Buccaneer?
I certainly think so. The traits that Harrison has and what he does well certainly fit the mold of the defensive line that the Buccaneers built this off-season. Think a younger, stronger, and faster Beau Allen. By watching Phillips’ film you can tell he has had great coaching at Stanford. He also has a lot of natural ability and a defined set of moves to help him bring down or get to his acquired target. Can you imagine what this kid would do with Brentson Buckner’s aggressive style of “Get up and get after it” coaching style? With the loss of the third round pick due to the much needed acquisition of former Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul, it will be a lot harder to obtain Harrison Phillips’ services for the future. Personally, I think he goes in the second round of this 2018 NFL Draft. To put it simply…he isn’t going to be there. I believe Phillips has a lot of skills that teams will covet early in the draft. Especially for teams who love to draft defensive line talent year after year after year, like the Giants and Eagles. I love your film, Harrison! Go have yourself a career! If it happens to be with our Tampa Bay Buccaneers…can’t say I’d be mad at that either.
**Video Credits: https://www.youtube.com/watchv=GIPQBQvwDxo;
By: Shawn Sudler