Draft Recap | Round 3 Pick 96 – DT Harrison Phillips


After trading two 2nd round and one 3rd round pick to move up and secure Josh Allen and Tremaine Edmunds, the Bills made their next choice just at the end of the round 3, the pick from the trade with the Eagles, number 96 overall, that became Stanford defensive tackle Harrison Phillips.


The 6’3″ 307 lb DT led his team with 103 tackles in his senior season while playing mostly at the nose tackle position, a really impressive feat. Then, at the combine, he showed his top notch strength and work ethic, leading all players with 42 reps on the bench press. Phillips is, by all accounts, an extremely dedicated and smart player, with a great motor and elite ability against the run. According Pro Football Focus, he led the nation with 38 run stops last season, with a second-best 12.9 run stopping percentage. He can contribute starting day one.


But with all this production and background, what made Phillips slide to the end of the 3rd round? First, he comes to the league as an extremely raw pass rusher, shown by his less-than-ideal 6.3 PFF pass rush productivity grade. He lacks a variety of moves in this department, always trusting his power and nonstop motor to achieve success.


Another concern is his struggles against double teams, a big problem for a nose tackle at the next level. A NFL NT needs to be able to hold up against double teams, and Phillips lacks ideal size and length (33 7/8″ arms) to consistently hold up there.


He plays with high pad level too often, and that can be seen on good and bad reps.


Since the pre-draft process, we heard some analysts comparing the former Cardinal to Bills legend Kyle Williams. Despite being different players, with Kyle the more athletic all around DT and Phillips the more powerful run stopper, it’s easy to understand the comparison. Both are built more like guards, lacking the length and size that the NFL people covet at the position. At this moment, Phillips lacks the prototypical size of a NT and the pass rushing skills to be a great 3 tech DT. Beane and McDermott already said he will probably get playing time rotating at both positions and, learning from a guy who beat all the odds, he will be able to develop into the next great Bills defensive tackle.