Mason Plummer / Lead Writer / Ball State Sports Link
After going down in Ball State history as one of the best defensive backs the program has ever seen, Antonio Phillips decided shortly after the 2020-21 football season that he would enter his name into the NFL Draft.
The rangy cornerback shone brightly for Ball State in his time in red and white, becoming a true lockdown corner and a nightmare for the opposition on a weekly basis.
Phillips’ best moment as a Cardinal ironically came in his last game for Ball State, in the Arizona Bowl. Phillips jumped on an out-route and took a misplaced San Jose State pass back to the house for a touchdown for Ball State’s first score of the game.
The Cardinals never looked back after that, blowing out San Jose State 34-13 en route to Ball State’s first ever bowl win in program history.
Weight: 191 lbs
39 games played, 137 total tackles, two tackles for loss, one sack, eight interceptions, 26 passes defended and one forced fumble.
The best part of Phillips’ game is his coverage ability. Phillips has the ability to cover NFL receivers at a high-level and at times, shut them down. He faced a handful of star MAC receivers in 2020 and held his own very well. Phillips also has a knack for finding the ball and forcing turnovers, something that will surely be noticed by NFL scouts and executives.
It seems likely that Phillips will be the first Cardinal off the board in the 2021 NFL Draft. Corners come a dime-a-dozen in the NFL and with traits like Phillips, it is almost a sure thing that one of the 32 teams will take a chance on the former Ball State defensive back.
Phillips does not project to be a top-round talent, but it is feasible to see him being taken on the second or third day of the draft, in the 5-6 round range.