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Cleveland Browns NFL Draft Profile: Kyle Philips, WR UCLA

Could the Cleveland Browns be interested in UCLA wide receiver Kyle Philips?

The Cleveland Browns are still in the process of revamping their wide receiver room, and could still use a slot receiver. UCLA’s Kyle Philips might be the best in the class.

With the departure of Jarvis Landry, the Browns don’t have a pure slot receiver on the roster. As of right now, the depth chart consists of Amari Cooper, Donovan Peoples-Jones, Anthony Schwartz, and Jakeem Grant, none of whom are considered slots, and while Cooper can and will play there some, it would be best if the team added someone to primarily fill that role.

There are a good amount of quality WR prospects in this class who project to the slot, but there is one in particular who found collegiate success there and who could be of interest to Cleveland, and that’s Kyle Philips out of UCLA.

Kyle Philips Relative Athletic Score

Kyle Philips Relative Athletic Score

Philips stands a slight 5-11 189 pounds with short arms so he will be playing only in the slot at the next level, but he has the physical tools to succeed there. He is moderately explosive, and while his 4.58-second 40-yard dash isn’t great, his 10 and 20-yard splits, which will be more important given his role, are excellent, as are his agility times. Philips isn’t going to win vertically, but he has the acceleration and short-area quickness to create separation underneath and gain yards after the catch.

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That shiftiness is evident on film, and it’s easy to see that translating to the NFL. He should be able to run precise routes and make enough space for himself to 3,4,5-plus passes per game in this offense.

In 2021, Philips caught 59 passes for 739 yards and 10 touchdowns. He earned a 76.6 receiving grade from Pro Football Focus, and had an average depth of target of 9.8 yards. For his career, he had 13 drops on 251 targets (5.2%) and had a great week at the East-West Shrine Bowl.

NFL Mock Draft Database currently has Philips as the consensus 156th-ranked player, and if the Browns can maneuver their way into a pick in that range (currently they have a wide gap from 118 to 202), Philips would be a great addition to the offense for a very cheap investment.

If there is one thing that will hurt Philips as a prospect in Cleveland’s eyes, it’s his age, as he will turn 23 in June. That would make him the oldest player that Andrew Berry has ever drafted, but not technically outside the age guardrail from what we have seen. And the guardrails are relaxed as the draft goes on, so if Phillips is sitting there in the middle of Day 3, his age isn’t likely to be an issue for the Browns.

Kyle Philips looks like a quality plug-and-play slot option for a team that needs a player to fill that role, and given where he is projected to go in the draft, he seems like a great fit for Cleveland.