The Raiders lack of production at linebacker has been a crucial flaw for a handful of seasons. Unfortunately for the Raiders, this year’s draft class isn’t very deep at linebacker, but the need is significant enough, where they must address it.
Jacob Phillips has experience playing in space as a coverage linebacker and also contributed to the Tigers run support during his three years in Louisiana. The Raiders may reconstruct their entire linebacking core this offseason through free agency and the draft. Phillips would provide traits that fit Paul Guenther’s scheme with a lot of upside for a mid-round pick. Phillips has shown the ability to dissect plays early on while playing in the second level of the defense, making him a valuable asset to any team that drafts him.
Today’s current state of NFL linebackers have changed dramatically over the last few years. If players can’t play in space or maneuver sideline-to-sideline they’re viewed as someone who can’t play on third down. Phillips’ frame of 6’4″ 233 pounds projects as a potential three down defender which would give the Raiders production in an area they must improve.
- Plays in space
- Top tier competition
- Immediate burst
- Twitchy movement