Jacksonville Jaguars set to host Utah CB Clark Phillips III for visit ahead of draft
The Jacksonville Jaguars have met with a handful of cornerback prospects ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft and Utah's Clark Phillips is next on the list.
Tom Pelissero of NFL Media reports the Jags are meeting with Phillips as part of the draft process. A four-star recruit out of college, the California native originally committed to Ohio State but later opted to go to Utah, where he started 31 games and registered nine interceptions, four of those returned for touchdowns.
At 5'9", Phillips doesn't have ideal size but he's a pretty quick athlete with the speed to keep up with wide receivers. Although he's not a great tackler (not for a lack of effort) and needs to work on his backpedalling, he's got the skill set to line up in the slot in the NFL.
Joe Marino of The Draft Network believes that even though Phillips doesn't offer ideal size at the position, he's a heck of a good football player that has the tools to become an impact starter in the NFL.
Clark Phillips III would round out the Jacksonville Jaguars' cornerback group
Even though the Jacksonville Jaguars have prioritized meeting with pass-rush prospects ahead of the draft, they've also hosted a handful of cornerbacks. This isn't surprising when you consider that they need to find a nickel to round out their cornerback group.
With Tyson Campbell and Darious Williams set to start in the perimeter, the Jaguars need someone who can play in the slot. Tre Herndon, who came back on a one-year deal, has the flexibility to line up inside and outside but Jacksonville needs a long-term answer at nickel.
At No. 24, the Jaguars will be in a position to take one of the top cornerbacks in the draft but given how stacked the position is, they could afford to address another position (edge rusher, tight end, or offensive lineman) and take a corner in the second or third round, which is precisely where Phillips might be available.
Cory Giddins of the Bleacher Report scouting department believes Clark could be a Day 1 or 2 pick while Marino and Dane Brugler of The Athletic have a second-round grade on him. On the other hand, Pro Football Focus projects the former Utah Ute to go in the third round.
Regardless of how the Jags view Phillips, they won't back themselves into a corner and will most likely take the route of the best player available, even though their defense might need more upgrades than the offense.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are coming off a successful season but they need to restock their roster if they want to avoid being a one-year wonder. Among those positions groups that they need to bolster in the draft is their cornerback room and Philips offers an intriguing alternative in the second or third round.