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Redskins Combine Countdown: Oklahoma NT Jordan Phillips

Feb 14, 2015, 10:02 AM EDT


The NFL Combine gets underway in Indianapolis in just 4 days. I will be there and in between now and then I’ll be doing a lot of work getting up to speed on the draft class of 2015. Along the way I’ll be sharing some of what I find out with Real Redskins readers. The focus will be on players in areas of need for the Redskins but I might look at players at just about any position since Scot McCloughan has said that he will take the best player available regardless of need.

Jordan Phillips


Height: 6-6
Weight: 334

What they’re saying:

What I liked: Well, we start with the size.  At that height and weight, he is just not a player you would see line up at nose tackle (0 tech) right over the center in most traditional spots.  He moves well enough laterally and forward to cause some issues in the gaps and can certainly demand double team attention to keep him from ripping into the backfield.  He spins pretty well and also feeds off stunts because the off-center opportunities are seized and he is quick to pop through and make a play against Tennessee.

What I did not like: He just doesn’t move a whole lot on most plays.  In fact, some plays he doesn’t move at all.  Against TCU, his battle with Horned Frogs center Joey Hunt was a real disappointing performance where he was single-teamed a lot and did not cause any real disruptive plays all day.  As the season went along, he was on the ground a bit too much making you wonder if he was at full health as his best football was in September for sure.  For me, I want to know about the production issues.

Bob Strum, Dallas Morning News

How he fits the Redskins: The Redskins have been using the undersized Barry Cofield at nose tackle since 2011. Cofield is about to turn 31, he has a high cap number and although he may survive this season his replacement needs to be found sooner rather than later. Phillips could be the player to do it.

“Big guys win” according to GM Scot McCloughan and at 6-6, 334 Phillips qualifies. But he’s not just a big body; he has the ability to use his size to great advantage with his quickness. He could at least contribute early if not become the full-time starter by midseason.

Potential issues: As Strum and others have noted, Phillips’ motor is not always running. It may be due to him being a year removed from a back injury that caused him to take a medical redshirt in 2013. Or it could be a case of him being like a lot of big players who just can’t generate the energy to keep their large mass in constant motion. In either case, Scot McCloughan has some investigating to do. The back issues will be examined by doctors in Indianapolis and then again if he is invited to Redskins Park for a visit. McCloughan will talk to a number of coaches, trainers and others in Phillips’ circle about his motivation.

His technique is flawed but that is normal for college players who can physically dominate the player lined up across from them. Coachability will be another aspect of his game that McCloughan will look in to.

As it stands now, the Redskins are not in a good draft spot to land Phillips. Right now it looks like his value is in the latter half of the first round, somewhere in the 20’s. He won’t be the right guy to take with the fifth pick and he could well be gone by the time Washington is up in the second round.

Bottom line: The demand for large, quick nose tackles always exceeds the supply. Phillips and Danny Shelton of Washington are the only two in this draft who are better than long-term projects. That may cause teams to overlook Phillips’ flaws and take a shot that he can hold down the middle.

Perhaps if the Redskins trade back to later in the first round they will take a good look at Phillips. If he is still on the board when the Redskins’ second-round pick rolls around, he may be too much of a value to pass up if his intangibles check out to McCloughan’s standards.

Previously in Combine Countdown:

  1. timwillhidetimwillhide - Feb 14, 2015 at 10:26 AM

    Too tall to be a NT. He already has a bad back and You want a guy who is Short and big like a Stump at NT. H would be a better fit in a 4-3. If he is Quik enough maybe play him at DE in a 3-4. I would like to see what his 10 yard split, 3 cone drill, and Broad jump times where to see if he had the explosion offf the line needed for DE.

    • timwillhidetimwillhide - Feb 14, 2015 at 10:28 AM

      He Could be a Beast at DE in 3-4 but Definitely better suited for a 4-3

  2. sidepull - Feb 14, 2015 at 10:34 AM

    Shelton is the pick.

  3. ET - Feb 14, 2015 at 11:05 AM

    D. Williams in free agency. Use those defensive draft picks on pass rushers and the secondary.

  4. kenlinkins - Feb 14, 2015 at 11:15 AM

    Rich: At what point in the process do you feel the new Redskins GM is now at (a little over a month into the job)? Would he have a ruff outline in place, maybe a general idea of what is missing on the Redskins roster and maybe a value assigned to most players under contract for 2015? I see that the Redskins have signed big 3 O-Linemen to bring into camp (long shots to make the team but guys who are young, big and worth a spot on the 90 man roster). While most of us fans have enjoyed knowing a player or a coach (and learning a few things from them) most wouldn’t know a GM (only one per team) to gain a real understanding of just how they do their jobs. If you were a GM, what would you have done by now?

    • goback2rfk - Feb 14, 2015 at 12:34 PM

      He does not know what the heck to do, this sh|t storm called the Redskins will take years to dig out of. Way too much to deal with in a season or two. I would like them to stick to fixing one area instead of jumping all around. Pick something, O-Line, Secondary and get it right and move on to the next area.

      • Rich Tandler - Feb 14, 2015 at 12:46 PM

        Won’t happen. Best available player won’t come in the order that will make fans happy.

        > > >

        • kenlinkins - Feb 14, 2015 at 2:40 PM

          If the BPA is a QB (Winston or Mariota) and no trading partner calls with a good deal, will the new GM pick a QB? With both QB’s now on the roster becoming Free Agents in 2016, is it a smart move to draft a QB (assumes BPA) in 2015 and give him a year to develop, or does this years pick have to make a impact in 2015? Also, Would the new GM be willing to play a little draft day “chicken” (i.e. picking a QB) if he feels other GM’s are low balling him in offer for the 5th pick and hoping he allows the QB to side to them (i.e. Jets) and make a deal after the pick? It seems to me that the new GM has a pretty good poker face, and doesn’t pick / deal from a position of fear. Are all BPA’s equal in the eyes of the new GM?

    • Rich Tandler - Feb 14, 2015 at 12:44 PM

      I think you have it about right. The clock is ticking on free agency so sorting out everything involved there is the priority (after the combine next week). I think he’s also figuring out what younger players on the roster, like Long and Thomas, have a legitimate shot at landing starting jobs.

      > > >

  5. shermanp79 - Feb 14, 2015 at 3:28 PM

    We need to finally get a true 3-4 NT. I have never understood why they haven’t drafted one before now. It has been years. They didn’t get the pressure Shanahan wanted with the smaller guys. Maybe if a true NT was getting doubled it would of freed up the other guys to be more productive. They have done nothing in the draft since taking Jenkins, he has been a total bust since he looked so good in his R TC. It’s time to address this issue with a NT and DE this year. They may take the rush guy but we need the big guy too.

    • shermanp79 - Feb 14, 2015 at 3:31 PM

      I don’t want this guy if there are issues with his hustle, clearly something is going on for his production to be so poor. We need a guy to create some pressure in the backfield. A guy to make plays behind the line.

      • timwillhidetimwillhide - Feb 14, 2015 at 5:27 PM

        I think his production has more to do with being played out of position. How is a tall guy like that gonna play NT He will loose the leverage battle every time. He would be better off as a DE in a 3-4 or a DT in a 4-3

  6. Joe Greene - Feb 14, 2015 at 4:47 PM

    Do we really want to use a 1st or 2nd on a guy with back issues, hustle issues, and minimal statistical output?

  7. boysheadcoach - Feb 15, 2015 at 10:12 AM

    if a QB falls to 5 we should do everything to trade down and pick up a high pick for this year. either the JETS AT 6 OR THE BEARS AT 7. Get another high 2nd and take Big NT Danny Shelton, Washington. then get OL and safety with 2 high 2nds

  8. deepball1 - Feb 15, 2015 at 11:52 AM

    why would anybody in their right mind think that the Skins would muddy up their QB situation by drafting a quarterback with pick 5? There are TWO quarterbacks on the roster whose contracts end next year and nobody knows what they will be like in the same system with an improved offensive line.

    can we let the Skins improve the offensive line BEFORE bringing in a rookie QB.

  9. captblood3000 - Feb 15, 2015 at 3:43 PM

    If Winston or Mariotta are still on the board at #5, McCloughan’s phone will ring. Archives

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