At 6-5, 329 pounds, Oklahoma’s Jordan Phillips is one of the more intriguing prospects in this year’s draft. In fact, Phillips – a physical, aggressive defensive lineman – could be a first-round pick.
Phillips, like dozens of other prospects, spent the last couple of days performing at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, where he ran a 5.17 in the 40-yard dash.
The combine, however, is about much more than the 40. How did Phillips do overall?
“Jordan had a great experience at the combine,” KMM Sports founder and owner and Phillips’ agent Kelli Masters said on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “He was very busy. Everything that you see on TV is really the tail end of everything that goes on for a player at the combine. It’s two full days of medical evaluations and MRIs and team meetings and tests and all those things – a lot of things that you don’t see on television.
“He had a great, great experience,” Masters continued. “He obviously did very well in the 40 drill, but that was just the culmination of a really busy four days for him. I think he was ready for a break after today.”
But how do you get a prospect ready for the combine? Is there anything you can say or do to help an athlete perform to the best of his ability?
“We really did everything we could to prepare him from a physical standpoint and a mental standpoint,” Masters said, “but I don’t know that you can actually truly prepare a player for the environment and for what it’s like. It’s a high-stress environment. It’s really early morning, it’s late nights, and it’s just a grind – and it’s not just football stuff. The medical (evaluations) and the interviews are probably the most important part of the combine.
“There’s so much focus on the 40 time and the other on-the-field drills, but it really is in those team meetings where a player is truly evaluated. A team has seen his film and so they know what he can accomplish on the field. They’re really digging and finding out who he is as a person and then also checking him out to make sure that his body is healthy, that he is healthy and a team can really see themselves investing the money that they want to invest.
“So we try and try to prepare the players physically, mentally and emotionally, but there’s really nothing that can truly get them ready for what the whole experience actually is.”
One thing is for certain: Phillips wasn’t nervous in any way. He actually did a standing backflip before leaving the field.
Did we mention he’s 6-5, 329?
“He really wasn’t nervous at all,” Masters said. “Jordan is a very easygoing guy. He has kind of a deadpan, funny sense of humor, but he really took everything in stride. He loved the interview process. He met with almost two dozen teams wile he was there and just loved every single interview that he was in. He really was just a trooper about the whole thing, and by the time we got to this morning with his on-the-field work, he was just ready to do it. He was very excited.”