Phillip Dillard is the first senior the Giants have taken in this draft. At 6-foot, 245, he's a fairly solid body who hits hard.
Here's what NFL Draft Scout had to say about him.
Read & React: Fast downhill between the tackles against the run. Reads misdirection and running back routes. A step slow on play action, and will get a bit overzealous against the run.
Run defense: Hustles from sideline-to-sideline and downfield and takes good angles to the ball. Lacks size to get through traffic and off of blocks consistently, but is willing to take on linemen to close up a hole and can be violent with his hands to stay free inside. Flexible enough to grab backs from behind and wrap up when coming off the edge. Will overrun plays and lose sight of the ball because of his lack of height.
Pass defense: Consistently plays three downs. Secure wrapping up after the catch. Stays with backs in man whether in the flat, over the middle, and down the seam. Can trail larger receivers and tight ends on crossing routes. Does not always find the ball in the air but can knock it out of backs' hands after the catch. Change-of-direction ability is adequate. Might struggle covering jerk routes.
Tackling: Explosive tackler between the tackles and in the flat. Strong enough in the upper body to take down ballcarriers with arm tackles. Fair changing direction in space for a middle linebacker, but could improve in that area. Breaks down well enough to at least slow down elusive backs. Tackling ability and hustle should help him as an inside cover man on special teams.
Pass Rush/Blitz: Comes hard on the blitz or when exploiting a lane to the quarterback. Does not miss the quarterback often once in his sights. Breaks down and uses his strength to overwhelm the signal caller. Will pound or avoid cut blocks from running backs.
Intangibles: Smart, intense player who directs defense from the middle and gives superb effort on every play. Worked off a lot of weight between his junior and senior seasons, when it appeared he re-dedicated himself. Showed maturity by being a good teammate and leading at practice when not playing the first two games of his senior year. Won the team's Novak Trophy in 2009 for "best exemplifying courage and determination despite all odds in the manner of Nebraska All-American center Tom Novak."
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