The Chargers may be forced to grab a cornerback with one of their first three selections in this year’s draft, especially if the prognosis of J.C. Jackson’s injury continues to look bleaker and bleaker as the offseason marches on.
One player that’s been linked to the Chargers as a great fit within their heavy Cover 2 scheme is Utah cornerback Clark Phillips III. Most recently, Michael Renner of Pro Football Focus tabbed Phillips as the perfect fit for the Chargers as a day two target in this year’s draft.
“Phillips is precisely what the Chargers could use in the slot for Brandon Staley’s defense,” says Renner. “He’s an instinctive player who recorded six picks and four pass breakups last season. Phillips is just on the small end to stay outside, measuring 5-foot-9 and 184 pounds, which will cause him to fall.”
The Chargers got phenomenal play from Bryce Callahan in the slot this past season as he recorded a career-high three interceptions and notched six pass breakups. He smothered some of the best receivers the Chargers faced in 2022 and his loss will surely be felt next season without a proper replacement.
Phillips is an excellent call should he last until the 54th pick as an undersized yet extremely scrappy player who loves to compete at the catch point. Play after play, Phillips reminds opposing receivers that it’s going to be a long day for them if the keep lining up opposite him.
In three seasons for the Utes, Phillips picked off nine passes and broke up 21 others with four total defensive touchdowns, including two this past campaign.
Despite the size shortcomings, he’s a fun watch who made an impact for one of the best teams in college football a season ago. He just looks like a Staley player and I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest should he end up wearing powder blue later this year.