Phillips is the nephew of former Miami Hurricane Luther Campbell. He attended Cincinnati out of high school, and did not play during his freshman season. He transferred to Copiah-Lincoln JC, and finished with 49 tackles and four sacks as a sophomore. He then transferred to Illinois as a junior.
He started three games for the Illini as a junior, and finished with 26 tackles, 4.5 sacks, and two sacks.
As a senior, Phillips exploded, as he finished the year with 56 tackles, 20 TFLs, nine sacks, and three QB hurries.
He was named first team All-Big 10 as a senior.
Very disruptive in the backfield against the run, and works well with stunts.
Works for the tackle, and is solid in pursuit. Does not give up on the play.
Solid tackler who gets his guy.
A grade agility, moves fluidly.
Plays very well in space.
Possesses second gear to close in on tackles.
Solid pass rush attributes, knows how to get to the pocket and make a play on the QB.
Very raw as a starter, with just one full season of experience in major college football.
Size is a limit, and he may have to kick out to play OLB.
Lacks lower body power, very thin legs with not much drive.
Gets knocked off course due to lack of core strength and anchor.
Arms are all over the place, and he appears to be often out of sync.
Plays too high, does not use good pad level.
Straight line rusher who has one good shot to make the play, or he fails.
It is my belief that we were just starting to see the best of Phillips in 2016. He will slide down to the late third or early fourth round because of a lacking sample size on what he is mad eup of, and he also will likely need a position change. He could use some time as a developmental prospect to get some bulk on his frame, but he may be limited on the next level until he makes some changes to his technique. He is known as the "Wild Man", and plays wild sometimes, which is not always a good thing. If he slides to the fourth round, grab him for development, but do not reach early on this prospect.