The 2015 NFL Draft will be held on April 30 through May 2 in Chicago, and it is a time where the 32 NFL teams will look to add some pieces to improve both this year and in future years. The Indianapolis Colts currently have nine picks in the Draft, including at least one in each round, and therefore they should be active on Draft day. Who might they target? We're taking a look at a number of different prospects, and today we take a look at Oklahoma defensive tackle Jordan Phillips.
Phillips (6-5, 329 pounds) played in 28 games (17 starts) over three seasons with Oklahoma, recording 58 tackles (nine tackles for loss), 3.5 sacks, and two passes defensed. He entered the 2013 season as the team's starter but his season was ended after just four games due to a back injury. In his junior season in 2014, however, he started all 13 games and was impressive, earning second-team All-Big 12 honors for his performance.
Phillips is a big defensive tackle who has good athleticism to pari with it, adding a nice combination of size and athleticism that he uses well. He's a strong, powerful force up front, particularly against the run, and has a lot of potential as an NFL nose tackle in a 3-4 defense, having not yet reached that potential.
He is still pretty inconsistent, as he'll flash the ability that wows you but doesn't do so consistently, so he needs work to put it all together. He had a back injury in 2013 and doesn't have much starting experience, as he started just 17 games at Oklahoma.
Big Board Rankings
NFL.com (Mike Mayock) - tied for number 5 interior defensive lineman
CBSSports.com - 44th overall, number 6 defensive tackle
Mocking the Draft - 38th overall, number 5 defensive tackle
Mock Draft Predictions
Josh Wilson's most recent mock draft: not selected in the first round
How Would He Help the Colts?
As we've mentioned already when looking at other prospects, finding a dominant nose tackle is hard to do in today's NFL, and the Colts haven't really found one yet since Chuck Pagano brought his 3-4 defense to the Colts in 2012. Josh Chapman has potential and has had some flashes, but he's too inconsistent to say that he's that nose tackle the Colts need.
I say all of that to emphasize this point: even though defensive line might not appear to be the Colts' biggest need at the moment, if they think that there's a guy who could be that dominant nose tackle, they should take him. Jordan Phillips is a player who has potential to be that, but he's not there yet as he needs to work on some stuff and put it all together on the field. It's certainly possible (and probably likely) for him to be available for the Colts with the 29th pick, and he would be a player to consider.
I do think that if we're talking about value, there will likely be other players the Colts could take that would be better selections. But again, if the Colts see Phillips as that nose tackle that a 3-4 defense really needs, they shouldn't hesitate to take a player at the position - and that might be Jordan Phillips.