This serves as the foundation for our 2018 draft assessments.
Assessment by Kyle Crabbs
Name: Cam Phillips
School: Virginia Tech
Position: Wide Receiver
Date of Birth: 12/16/1995
High School: Dematha (MD)
Games played: 40
Games started: 32
Team Captain: No
165 receptions, 2063 receiving yards, 10 receiving touchdowns
High School Accolades
A consensus All-State selection and named offensive player of the year. A former track athlete. Was rated as the 7th best recruit in Maryland by Rivals (rated 6th by 247Sports).
Logged over 1000 offensive yards from scrimmage in 2016 as a returning starter opposite WR Isaiah Ford.
Games watched: Clemson (2016), Pittsburgh (2016), Miami FL (2016), Tennessee (2016)
Has a knack for making first defenders miss when isolated one on one. Understands how to manipulate angles when working into the boundary and slip back into the field of play. Shows some good strength to be able to run through weak arm tackle attempts or absorb contact and push forward for a tough final yard depending on game situations. Has likable ability to sit down when given windows in zone coverage; is at best when not impeded at the line of scrimmage and able to climb between zones. Has smooth transitions, albeit not especially quick or dynamic, when flipping eyes up the field and will string moves together in efforts to work past traffic. Has some plucky catches, capable to extending and firmly receiving the nose of the football when targeted outside the hashes.
Is still working on the concept of movement economy and understanding how to optimize yardage after the catch. Too many plays end with a looping peel back into the teeth of the defense or with excessive lateral cuts without gaining forward ground, allowing him to be caught from behind. Role appears to be limited and capped to a slot style receiver; does not do well when harassed early on in routes. Route tree is notably one dimensional, featured on a lot of screen plays and bubble throws; was actually targeted for more plays behind the line of scrimmage than targeted 10+ yards down the field. Does not have explosive qualities and therefore will likely struggle to separate against high end athletes. Guilty of a handful of drops, mostly working over the middle of the field.
Virginia Tech’s Cam Phillips eclipsed 1000 offensive yards from scrimmage as a junior in 2016 and appears to be poised for a greater role in the offense with the departure of TE Bucky Hodges and WR Isaiah Ford. That trio of skill players was the three top targets for the Hokies in 2016, so Phillips by default can expect a larger portion of passes as a senior. Phillips can make a number of adjustments to his game that could allow him to optimize his skill set and solidify his standing as a draft prospect. Those improvements include working to improve his sense of urgency to get north and square his pads to the line of scrimmage and also making a more concentrated effort to see the ball into his hands in high traffic situations. Phillips currently has the feel of more of an athlete than a receiver but he does have a knack for forcing missed tackles and some smooth qualities; which can translate working as a slot receiver in the middle of the field.