2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Clark Phillips III (CB – Utah)
As the NFL season winds down, FantasyPros will be taking a look at early NFL Draft scouting reports before the combine in March. Here’s a look at Clark Phillips III.
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Clark Phillips III (CB – Utah)
5’10” – 183 lbs.
Four-star recruit who’s been starting since his true freshman season, totaling 25 tackles, one interception (pick-six) and two breakups over five games. Had 61 tackles, two interceptions (one touchdown) and 13 breakups in 2021, and has upped his interception totals this year, with a line of 41/66, 511 yards, four touchdowns, six interceptions and four breakups when targeted.
Productive three-year starter for a program that has produced a lot of solid prospects at the position. Plays with technique and feel beyond his years. Was highly respected by opposing offenses. Lines up on both sides of the field (left and right, boundary and field), playing a lot of zone/shuffle; also takes some snaps from the slot. Doesn’t backpedal often but shows quick feet and decent weight distribution, clean transitions to driving on a spot. Has loose hips and nice twitch/reaction times at the stem. Processes route combinations well from the zone and knows when to break off. Sniffs out screens developing underneath and closes quickly, showing the ability to slip under would-be blockers. Gets his head around to locate with his back turned. Very good ball skills. Dynamic with the ball in his hands, having scored four career touchdowns on interception returns. Doesn’t shy away from contact. Comes up quickly to limit yards after the catch. Maintains outside leverage in the run game to funnel.
On the smaller side for a boundary cornerback, which could limit the types of receivers he’s assigned to at the pro level. Doesn’t quite have the elite speed/explosiveness/closing burst of other smaller cornerbacks who went in the first round. Plays with a somewhat conservative approach to the position; would like to see him squeeze routes a bit more at the stem. Doesn’t have a lot of stopping power, leading to broken tackle attempts. Can struggle to hold the point of attack in the run/screen games.
Polished, productive cornerback who has done a little bit of everything in college and combines advanced route recognition with excellent ball skills. Almost every year, at least one undersized cornerback of this type ends up in the first round. So coming off the board on the first day is not out of the question, but doesn’t have the ideal physical traits that would guarantee a selection that high. Could easily develop into a starting cornerback sooner rather than later but might begin his career in the slot before sliding outside, potentially for a zone-heavy team.
Projection: Round 1-2
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