Kyle Philips Scouting Report: Fantasy analysis on the 2022 NFL Draft prospect

As fantasy managers watch the NFL Draft, what does Kyle Philips' scouting report say, and which teams could be potential landing spots?

As one NFL season ends, the next is set to begin with the 2022 NFL Draft on the horizon. In our latest installment of scouting reports to help guide your fantasy football teams, we look at UCLA WR Kyle Philips. What are Philips’ strengths and weaknesses, which teams could be potential landing spots for him in the NFL Draft, and what is his fantasy outlook?

Kyle Philips NFL Draft Profile

  • Position: Wide Receiver
  • School: UCLA
  • Current Year: Redshirt Junior
  • Height: 5′ 11″
  • Weight: 186 pounds
  • Wingspan: 72″
  • Arm: 29 3/4″
  • Hand: 8 1/2″

Kyle Philips’ fantasy football scouting report

I can save you a whole bunch of time by asking you a straightforward question. Do you like Hunter Renfrow? If the answer is yes, you already like Philips and didn’t even know it. Sure, it’s an oversimplification, but that doesn’t make it less true. Even the measurements are the same. We see what Philips came in at during the Shrine Bowl, but what about Renfrow, you ask?

Well, at the 2019 NFL Combine, Renfrow measured in at 5’10 1/4″, 184 pounds with 29 1/8″ arms, a 71 1/4″ wingspan, and 7 7/8″ hands. Literally, Philips is just a slightly longer version. In terms of how they play, they’re doppelgangers.

Philips was the Bruins’ top wideout in 2021, leading the team in receptions (59), yards (739), and touchdowns (10) while earning All-Pac-12 honors and leading the conference in receiving TDs. Philips also returned 9 punts for 203 yards and a touchdown on special teams. None of this should come as a surprise.

After redshirting his true freshman season, Philips set UCLA’s freshman record with 60 catches in 2019. Uber-productive his entire career, he left UCLA with 163 receptions, 1,821 yards, and 17 touchdowns as a wideout in addition to 496 yards and 2 touchdowns on 25 punt returns. Are they gaudy numbers? Not really in context to other players. Yet, that’s not what Philips is or how he was implemented.

Philips is unfair in the slot

Philips is the prototypical slot receiver. He has a slightly smaller but well-built frame with absurdly quick feet, polished route running, and hands as secure as Fort Knox.

Everything for Philips starts from the ground up. At the snap, his feet look like they’re moving twice as fast as everyone else’s on film. Against even the best slot or nickel corners in the Pac-12, it was Road Runner vs. Wile E. Coyote levels of comical. His feet fire like pistons, taking quick steps to get a DB on their heels. Then Philips flashes by the defender. In a matter of two seconds, he has multiple yards of separation.

There’s not a route Philips can’t run at a high level. Seams, digs, hitches, whips, slants, hard outs, speed outs. You name it, and he’s got it.

There are even times where UCLA would run a combo route with the Z on a post and send Philips on a delayed corner or deep slot fade, using the crosser as a pseudo pick play. Dorian Thompson-Robinson didn’t always take the shot, but it was there if he wanted it.

Philips is Mr. Clutch

On third or even fourth down, Phillips is at his best. He is the primary read if you need a first down to move the chains. There might not be a more reliable set of hands on clutch downs in this class. And that is not just on perfectly placed balls.

Despite the small catch radius, Philips makes the most of it. He exudes body control by getting his arms well above or outside his frame to secure off-target throws, even on the sidelines. Once there, he has an innate sense of where the sideline is and gets his feet down in bounds.

In the open field, Philips was a problem for defenders. He’s cognizant of the coverage being played and knew when and where to sit down in both short and intermediate zones. Philips won’t break many tackles or run with power, but his burst allows him to manipulate angles for extra yards.

Versatility and deep play skills will limit him in the NFL

While his scouting report has been glowing so far, Philips is not perfect. For one, he’s strictly a slot-only receiver. Over 90% of his snaps in college came inside, and there’s no reason to see that changing in the NFL. Granted, I’m fine with that, as volume is a massive bonus in PPR formats. It just takes away from some of his versatility inside the playbook.

Big-play ability is also a question. Philips lacks the size to take on the bigger corners in the NFL, and given his lower aDOT (average depth of target), unless he gets loose underneath, Philips will get his yards over time, not in substantial chunks.

Still, look at the value of Renfrow or even Diontae Johnson last season. If you are getting somewhere around 1.8 to 3 points a reception, no one is complaining when that same player sees 8+ targets a game.

The only other thing I would like Philips to focus on is not trying to pack every move into a route. If the corner is playing off, just take the lane and go. When you already have a five-yard cushion at the top of the route, there’s no need to then add in the hard stick and head/shoulder fake. It can make a WR late on his break and throw off the timing, which is imperative for quick-hitting routes.

Philips cemented his NFL and fantasy stock at the Shrine Bowl

At the Shrine Bowl, no player-generated more buzz than Philips. It didn’t matter what corner or played he matched up against, he won every single rep. When you see videos where coaches and teammates are yelling, “Oh, s***!”, you’re making an impression.

Philips was also reportedly the first alternate for the Senior Bowl. However, after declining to play in the Shrine Bowl, he opted not to take a spot from someone else in Mobile as well.

From Day 1, Philips is a starting-caliber slot in the NFL. He’s the type of player every NFL roster could use and turn into an instant contributor. His role on special teams all but guarantees him a spot on the roster.

While we all love the alpha receivers who go up and dunk on dudes (Treylon Burks), there is a need for the possession guys. They add week-in-and-week-out stability to offenses and your fantasy team. They bring the floor to your scoring output and allow you to insert risky, big-play receivers to be inserted alongside them. In PPR scoring formats, Philips checks every box you want in fantasy. A somewhat under-the-radar name in fantasy circles, he will not be unknown for long as the scouting community will prop him up between now and the draft.

Potential landing spots for Philips

With the NFL Draft closing in, which teams make the most sense for Philips as projected landing spots? Based on Philips’ scouting report, fantasy managers should keep their eye on these franchises come draft day.

New England Patriots

I mean, come on. You knew this one was coming. It’s almost too obvious. Everyone has “a type.” And by now, we know what Bill Belichick’s type is. Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Wes Welker, you get the idea. Even Jakobi Meyers got in on the action last year in the slot.

I thought Belichick would draft Renfrow in 2019. He gets the chance to do it again in 2022. Go figure — it is also a position of need for New England.

Nelson Agholor is their field stretcher, and N’Keal Harry is the disappointment. Sorry, but the truth hurts. Kendrick Bourne will be back in 2022 to take the Z, while Meyers should return as a restricted free agent.

Mac Jones is what we thought he was, only a better version. He’s a cerebral QB who showed excellent accuracy in tight windows and on timing routes. Adding in a receiver like Philips into this offense just makes too much sense.

Chicago Bears

Justin Fields needs help. I love Darnell Mooney, but the Bears need more at receiver. Allen Robinson is off for greener pastures, as are Jakeem Grant Sr., Marquise Goodwin, and Damiere Byrd. Jimmy Graham is also a free agent. This means five of Chicago’s top eight pass catchers are gone. Only one of those remaining three (Mooney) is a WR. The others are TE Cole Kmet (612 yards) and RB David Montgomery (301 yards).

Fields loves the deep shot, but the Bears need to give him the easy wins. The underneath 8-10 yard plays that keep drives alive. This is where Philips comes in. He could easily be the No. 2 target hog in Chicago in the slot. Add in a few more perimeter options, and you give Fields, the franchise’s future, a chance to succeed.

Indianapolis Colts

The Colts have questions to answer, and most are in the passing game. What happens with Carson Wentz? Is T.Y. Hilton heading off into the sunset? Who is the No. 2 on this offense?

While Michael Pittman had over 1,000 yards as a legitimate NFL-level X receiver, the next closest in terms of yards was Zach Pascal with 384. Pascal is slated to hit free agency. Parris Campbell has yet to put together an injury-free season, and even Ashton Dulin finished with more yards (173 to 162).

Undoubtedly, this is an offense built on the run. Jonathan Taylor is arguably the top running back in the NFL. Yet, to have a balanced and consistent offense, there needs to be the threat of a passing game.

As a reliable chain mover, Philips could help stabilize the passing game. Let Pittman take the deep shots and use him underneath for first downs. The Colts must address the receiving room, and starting with Philips would be a perfect foundational piece for years to come.

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