According to SiriusXM NFL Radio, the Denver Broncos have conducted a pre-draft visit and workout with Oklahoma defensive tackle Jordan Phillips.
At 6'5 and 329 pounds, Phillips is a mammoth defender and played an integral role in the Sooners two-gap defense. Listed below is his cumulative statistics at Oklahoma.
His combination of size and athleticism are certainly a rarity. For a man his size, he moves extraordinarily well and has a great initial step and demonstrates tremendous quickness and snap anticipation. While his stat sheet doesn't indicate a premier pass rusher, he does have good penetration skills, a deadly swim move and often forces the opposing quarterback to make errant throws or decisions. That is hidden production that won't show up on paper, but certainly does in film review. Additionally, his strength allows him to be a force in the running game, which often makes him command double teams.
Regarding his negatives, Phillips is a redshirt junior with only two years of collegiate experience due to missing most of the 2013 campaign after having surgery on his back. With defensive tackle being a position whose LTI (Length To Impact) is usually much higher due to the learning curve of the NFL, it might have been apt for him to go back for his final year of eligibility at Oklahoma.
Despite his physical talents, he seems to struggle mentally when locating the ball and fails to keep proper eye movement and focus. Another area of concern his having problems with leverage, especially against smaller offensive lineman, who often have him bend at the waist, which will limit his overall effectiveness in the NFL if not corrected. A final critique would be his consistency and motor. Can he give it 100% on ever snap or will he be a player who takes the occasional play off that becomes detrimental to the defense?
A fair comparison to Phillips is former Jaguars and Broncos defensive tackle Terrance Knighton, who have many of the same physical characteristics, player traits and perhaps most importantly questions concerning work ethic and playing at a high level throughout the course of the game.
On talent alone, Phillips figures to be a late first round to early second round prospect. However, his health issues, lack of experience and concerns regarding his level of play may drop him a round lower than expected. I fully expect the Broncos to draft a nose tackle early in this years draft and undoubtedly there is a reason the Broncos are doing their diligence on this particular prospect.
In the case of Phillips, he has Pro-Bowl potential but is a classic example of a "boom or bust" prospect. The team who drafts him will need to have patience as he needs a year or two of growth to blossom into the type of player he can certainly become.