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Preseason Scouting Notes: Whop Philyor, WR, Indiana

Senior | 5’11” 177 lbs | Tampa, FL

 

A savvy receiver with strong hands and good body control who needs to find more ways to separate consistently

 

Overview:

Whop Philyor came to Indiana as a 3-star recruit, but was able to see the field early on his freshman season as a slot receiver and on kick coverage. He had more opportunities his sophomore until he lost the season due to injury. In his junior season, he became the team’s full-time slot receiver leading the team in catches and yards. He is mostly used as a slot receiver and is normally taken off the field on two-receiver sets. Gets targeted a lot on RPO bubble screens and other quick one-read throws. Is often put in motion and is utilized on jet sweeps and end arounds. Has games where he is the centerpiece of the offense and other games where he’s a complementary piece as more than half of his 69 catches came in 3 games. His most common routes run are screens, curls, and crossers. Is not often asked to run routes with hard cuts. Has some punt-return experience.

Strengths:

– Consistently uses his hands to pluck and snatch the ball. Doesn’t let go of the ball after contact
– Knows how to attack soft spots in zones, finds open field well on scramble drills
– Tenacious blocker who is gets physical with defenders despite being undersized
– Speed is good enough to threaten safeties and slower corners deep
– Shows good body control and acceleration when turning upfield after the catch or turning upfield on jet sweeps or end arounds

Areas to improve:

– Doesn’t get much separation on his hard cuts. Doesn’t have enough explosion out of his his breaks
– Doesn’t have the size or catch radius to attack balls away from his frame
– Lacks the evasiveness in the open field to be a threat on gadget plays on the next level
– Doesn’t show the contact balance needed to bounce off tacklers and gain consistent yardage after the catch
– Has the occasional concentration drop
– Never showed the strength or leaping ability to be a threat in contested catch situations on tape
– Doesn’t have much experience in beating press. Almost always given a free release

Injury concerns:

– (2019) Missed one game with a concussion
– (2018) Missed 5 games with a high ankle sprain and “various other injuries”

Projection:

While Philyor has the hands needed to be a starting-caliber receiver, he lacks a winning trait to get the separation needed to showcase them. He lacks the quickness and explosion need to separate on his breaks, so he doesn’t project well as a shifty slot receiver. He lacks the balls skills and contested-catch ability to be a deep threat. While he is solid at the college level as a gadget player on screens and jet sweeps, he lacks the sheer speed and quickness to play the same role at the next level. If he is unable to gain one or more of the aforementioned traits he will project as a Day 3 prospect who can see the field as a fourth receiver and a special teamer.

What to watch in 2020:

Will Philyor play in a similar role to what he played last year? Most of his snaps throughout his career were in the slot, and he still hasn’t proved whether or not he’s capable of doing things expected of an outside receiver like beating press or tracking deep passes down the sideline. He could also improve his draft stock by expanding his route tree. Most of the routes he ran were either screens or rounded out routes like drags and crossers. It would be good to see if he can learn to generate more separation on routes that require hard or deceptive breaks like digs, posts or comebacks. He should have plenty of chances to play NFL caliber corners as he could go against prospects Shaun Wade, Ambry Thomas, and Tariq Castro-Fields.

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