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Giants Add Kentucky CB Andru Phillips in Third Round

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The New York Giants attempted without success to add to their cornerback room during free agency after deciding to move on from veteran Adoree Jackson. After coming up short in that quest, they turned to the draft, where they selected Kentucky cornerback Andru Phillips in the third round.

But for those who think Phillips solves the issue at CB2, you might want to pump the brakes. Phillips is still wet behind the ears as far as starting experience goes, having really come on as a starter for the Wildcats in his final season. And Giants general manager Joe Schoen said that Phillips’ entry to the NFL will likely mirror that of Cor’Dale Flott, in that Flott started out in the slot before flexing to the outside.

The Skinny

Phillips comes from an athletic family. His father, Carlos, played linebacker at Kentucky under Jerry Claiborne. His mother LaTonya, was a standout athlete at Danville High School and his brother, C.J., played football at Morehead State in 2015.

Phillips is a former three-star recruit out of Mauldin High School in Mauldin, South Carolina. In the 2020 recruiting cycle, he was the 16th recruit in his state and the 77th overall cornerback. He chose Kentucky over several other Power 5 schools, fulfilling a lifelong dream.

Phillips is still widely considered to be wet behind the ears as far as starting experience goes–in 2022 he was more of a rotational player, moving between the slot and outside before being promoted to full-time starter in 2023.

His tackling has been inconsistent–he missed 15 tackles last season and had four games with multiple missed tackles). 

He’s also still learning to play his angles smartly after logging 10 career pass breakups and no interceptions. Overall, Phillips appeared in 38 career games with 16 starts and also has 82 tackles and 3 tackles for loss.

Scouting Report

Here is what Nick Falato had to say about Phillips:

“Andru Phillips is a tough-minded explosive athlete with impressive movement skills and fluidity to flip his hips, stay balanced, and keep his eyes on target – perfect for shaded zone coverage & midpointing. He can play inside and outside, and he has the athletic traits and experience to succeed in both man and zone coverage. He’s feisty at the catch point, with good technique to disrupt, but lacks the ability to locate and secure interceptions–he had zero in college.

“His anticipation skills and discipline are still a work in progress in coverage. He has the right mentality in run support and can deliver solid hits when he’s in pursuit, but he’s more of a wrap-up and hold-on tackler from closer proximity. Phillips is raw, and his hands/physical nature get him in trouble. There are aspects of his game that still need to be refined, but the baseline athletic traits raise his ceiling.”

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