Clark Phillips III Draft Profile – 2023 NFL Draft
Clark Phillips III NFL Draft Scouting Report Introduction
Clark Phillips III, a La Habra High School graduate, was a highly sought-after 4 star recruit. Phillips III had his choice of schools and ultimately decided to join the University of Utah.
As a freshman in 2020, Phillips III wasted no time making his presence felt on the field. Despite playing in just five games, he managed to accumulate an impressive 337 snaps at cornerback for the Utes. He was a tackling machine, racking up 26 tackles and 2 assists, while also contributing 9 stops. But Phillips III’s real impact was felt in the secondary, where he notched up one pass breakup, one interception, and a QB rating of 99.3 when targeted.
In his sophomore year, Phillips III continued to impress, playing in 14 games and logging 928 snaps for the Utes. His defensive prowess was on full display, as he tallied 59 tackles and 4 assists, while also contributing 18 stops. Phillips III’s coverage skills were particularly impressive, as he totaled 9 pass breakups, 2 interceptions, and a QB rating of 81.5 when targeted.
In 2022, Phillips III entered his junior season with high expectations, and he did not disappoint. Despite playing in just 12 games and contributing on 620 snaps, he continued to make an impact in all aspects of the game. Phillips III recorded 22 tackles and 3 assists, while adding 12 stops. But his most impressive performance came in the secondary, where he forced 4 pass breakups and an eye-popping 6 interceptions. Perhaps most impressive of all was Phillips III’s QB rating when targeted, which was a remarkable 68.4.
His impressive performance as a freshman, solid sophomore season, and dominant junior campaign have solidified his place as one of the most talented defensive backs in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Clark Phillips III Draft Profile
Clark Phillips III is a talented athlete who possesses impressive speed, agility, and explosiveness. He has the athleticism and movement skills to stay with opposing receivers and match their routes, thanks in part to his fluid and rapid change of direction skills. Additionally, his ability to be disruptive at the catch point is exceptional, as his recovery speed and ball skills allow him to break up passes and even make interceptions.
Despite his relatively smaller frame, Phillips III is willing to come downhill and battle in space to make tackles. He is a competitive player who showcases intriguing competitive toughness, which makes up for his size disadvantage. While he has primarily played on the outside, he also has considerable experience playing in the slot, which gives him a versatility that many NFL teams will find valuable.
Phillips III has shown steady improvement throughout his college career, demonstrating elite reactionary skills and a knack for making big plays in the biggest games. He is a tenacious competitor who plays with an elite level of spirit and impact that is difficult to ignore. He is truly a dog on the field, always ready to take on any challenge and rise to the occasion.
Clark Phillips III 40 yard dash- 4.44 seconds
Clark Phillips III Player Comparison- Byron Jones
Scouting Report- Strengths
Clark Phillips III is a dynamic player with the agility and athleticism to hold his own in any spot in the secondary. He has a quick and efficient change-of-direction ability, which enables him to keep up with speedy receivers and mirror their movements with ease.
Phillips III’s quick feet and impressive change-of-direction skills are particularly noteworthy, as he is capable of keeping up with even the quickest receivers on the field. He can flip his hips and run with ease, demonstrating top-end speed and the length to make plays on the ball. His ability to close to the ball and make tackles is a testament to his versatility and well-rounded skill set.
While Phillips III may not be the biggest player on the field, he makes up for his lack of size with his impressive speed, agility, and competitive toughness. He fits best in a zone system at the next level, as this will enable him to use his size and ability to close to the ball to his advantage. He is a player who can make an impact in a variety of defensive schemes, thanks to his versatility and adaptability.
Finally, Phillips III has good ball skills and a fluidity that is rare in players of his size. He has the ability to mirror quicker receivers and make plays on the ball, thanks to his impressive change-of-direction ability and quick feet. Overall, Clark Phillips III is a talented and dynamic player who has the potential to be a star in the secondary at the next level. His combination of speed, agility, and competitive toughness make him an ideal fit for any team looking for a versatile and well-rounded defensive player.
Scouting Report- Weaknesses
One of the main concerns regarding Phillips III is his lack of ideal height, weight, and length. While he is able to compete well above his weight class, teams have sometimes forced him to play off contact and make tackles, which can be challenging given his size disadvantage. Despite his competitive and aggressive nature, there have been instances where he has struggled to get off blocks and bring down ball carriers due to his smaller stature.
Another area where Phillips III can be vulnerable is when a quarterback comes back to his side of the field late in the progression. In these situations, he can be a step slow to react, which can give the quarterback an opening to make a big play downfield.
Phillips III’s aggressiveness in man and zone coverage can also be a double-edged sword. While it can make him an effective defender against short routes, NFL quarterbacks may look to exploit this aggressiveness by going over the top and attacking downfield.
While Phillips III is a talented press coverage defender, he can sometimes look shaky and unsure when transitioning out of his backpedal. This can leave him vulnerable to being beaten on deep routes and other types of plays.
Clark Phillips III Draft Summary
However, despite these concerns, Phillips III is an incredibly talented football player who possesses every other desirable trait at a high level. His speed, agility, explosiveness, and competitive toughness make him an impact starter in the NFL.
While his size may be a disadvantage, he has proven time and again that he is more than capable of playing at a high level against even the most elite competition. In short, Phillips III is a damn good football player who will undoubtedly make a significant impact at the next level. With his quick feet, fluid movement, and impressive change-of-direction skills, he is well-suited to playing in a zone coverage scheme. Additionally, his ability to make plays on the ball and aggressive playing style make him a formidable opponent in man coverage situations.
Clark Phillips III is our 37th ranked prospect on our NFL Draft big board.
- Quick and great at change of direction
- Solid tackler
- Excels in zone coverage
- Lack of size
- Over-aggressive at times
- Can get beaten deep without help over the top