In the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills selected defensive tackle Harrison Phillips out of Stanford. It was a dream come true for fans as everything that came out about Phillips made him the perfect player to add to the process. We reached out to Jack Blanchat, Manager of Rule of Tree, to give more information on the guy that he watched a lot of at Stanford.
What would you say are Phillips’ strengths?
Phillips is really good at playing the 2-gap role as a nose tackle, and he’s exceptional against the run. He understands schemes and attacks very well, so he’s good at clogging up running lanes by pushing around linemen. He also has a little wiggle to get through blockers too. He has a swim move that’s effective and sometimes he gets skinny and can sneak upfield to stop a runner in the backfield. See this video for highlights:
Where would you like to see him improve?
He could probably stand to play a little lower and with a little better balance. He’s definitely better against the run right now than against the pass, where he’s mostly getting sacks through non-stop effort. But he’s just really good at what he does do: 2-gap from that inside spot. I think he’ll just need a little seasoning to learn how to be most effective against NFL linemen.
Which current pro would you compare him to?
The Kyle Williams comparison is almost too easy to make here...
Do you think the Bills were the best fit for him?
Definitely. The Bills certainly had a need for a DL like Phillips after losing Marcell Dareus last year and Kyle Williams reaching the end of his career, so Phillips really couldn’t have landed in a better spot. The opportunity is there for him, he’s just gotta capitalize.
What is your best in game memory of him?
Honestly, I don’t know that I have a singular memory of him, because he was just everywhere all the time. If I did have to pick one moment, it would probably be a miracle fumble recovery against Oregon State to help Stanford steal a win, or his absolutely beastly performance against Notre Dame this past Thanksgiving. He just shoved around their excellent offensive line all day, and that’s especially impressive considering how they had two first-round picks on their OL. Check out the highlights here: