While waiting for the post-season draft sheets, the editorial staff of TDActu offers you a spotlight on the future nuggets who will join the NFL in 2023.
Clark Phillips III
Born December 19, 2001 in Lakewood, California
1m78 for 85 kilos
Cornerback, Utah, sophomore redshirt
Quarterback and left tackle in attack, edge rusher and cornerback in defense. These are the most important positions in this sport. Of course this is worth nothing if the other players around are not good! But the players of these positions are the cornerstones of a soccer team.
CP3 not only has the qualities to be one of the cornerstones of a franchise, but also to be a precious stone.
If I were a quality: loving balloons
Ballhawk. This qualifier designates the backs capable of stealing balloons, like birds of prey controlling the air. Eight career interceptions including 5 in 2022! In terms of coverage, we can distinguish the following hierarchy: being able to follow the receiver, so that the quarterback gives up throwing in that direction, is the first level.
If the opposing pitcher decides to aim in his direction, a second level cornerback manages to defend the pass: divert the ball or dislodge it from the hands of the receiver. In 14 games in 2021, Clark Phillips defended 13 passes: 8th overall nationally. That’s eighth total out of about 650 cornerbacks in the NCAA!
In ascending order, then come the two ultimate levels: intercepting the leather and returning that interception for a touchdown. In 7 games in 2022, Clark Phillips totaled 5 interceptions, including 2 after which he scored a touchdown!
If I was a stat: 4 touchdowns
Holder from his freshman season, he stands out despite a 2020 season shortened by the pandemic: 25 tackles and one interception in just 5 games. And that interception against Washington State, he returned it for a touchdown. The following season, he confirmed: 2 interceptions, one of which resulted in a Pick Six. And so, it does even better in 2022!
Because an impact play on defense sometimes changes the momentum of a game, Clark Phillips will be highly coveted in the draft.
If I were a defect: template
His stature doesn’t seem optimal when it comes to having to elevate and contest the reception to a receiver taller than him. He does, however, possess superior talent and an NFL manager will be praised within two years for picking him.
If I Were a Date: Nov. 19 at BYU
The Mormon religion has its university: Brigham Young University. But this confession is dominant in the state of Utah and the city of Salt Lake City, only 60 kilometers away, is also a high place. And as football is the king sport in this country, the annual confrontation between the two universities is always eagerly awaited.
This game even has a nickname: Holy War. A model of « holy war » which aims to evangelize the rival but nevertheless friends. Friends ? Not really ! Like what Stéphanois and Lyonnais supporters know in France, the proximity between the two institutions gives them a certain animosity.
In 2019, fans of both universities testified that this match is so important, that they take almost no pleasure in watching it: they mostly feel anxiety! That of possibly losing against the hated rival.
If I was an NFL player: Asante Samuel jr (Chargers)
Because he does not have the tall and lanky physique of Jalen Ramsey or Sauce Gardner, Clark Phillips will be discriminated against just before the 2023 draft. The same restrictions set out for Asante Samuel jr in 2021: too small, can only play inside the field and not be a CB1. Blablablabla.
With the Chargers, Asante Samuel has already won: 7 passes defended and 1 interception in 7 games in 2022, after 11 PDs including 2 INTs in 12 games in 2021. Denzel Ward (Browns), of the same size, is in the top 10 at his position. The rookie Jack Jones (Patriots) or the most experienced Jaire Alexander (Packers) also prove that it is not the size that counts.
If I was a draft pick: 20-40
A player of similar size, Asante Samuel jr had to wait for the second round in 2021. Clark Phillips’ superior production could allow him to hear his name called on Thursday. But places will be expensive in the 1st round of the 2023 draft.
In Kansas City, there will be slender physique in this position: Cam Smith (South Carolina), Emmanuel Forbes (Mississippi State), Kelee Ringo (Georgia), Devon Witherspoon (Illinois) and Joey Porter (Penn State).
If I were an NFL team: Washington Commanders
Regularly beaten in the air in 2022, the defense of the capital will have to improve in 2023. William Jackson does not justify his contract of 40 million dollars signed in 2021. And because money is the sinews of war in the NFL , the Commanders might want to clear the payroll: almost $13 million in savings if they were to cut it.
A rookie always costs less and if in addition this one has the potential to be better than the holder, it is all profit. Washington would then have a trio as complementary in the game as in their age groups: Kendall Fuller, Benjamin St Juste and Clark Phillips.