Kenny Phillips was drafted by the Giants with the last pick in the first round of this past year's draft. Many would consider a first round selection of any kind to be an accomplishment, but that's not the case with Phillips.
He was the last pick in that round and he translates that to mean that every other team passed on him. The Giants had him ranked as the 15th best player on the board in the draft regardless of position and team needs. They were ecstatic when the safety fell all the way down to their pick. They had eyed the hard hitter from the start of the combine but never truly envisioned him being available when they picked.
"It definitely drives me. Every team passed on me. That's something I'll never forget and that's going to drive me for this whole season. If nothing else, that'll do it alone," said Phillips according to Newsday.
He has seemed very hungry to get his rookie year under way as he has been bringing the pain in training camp so far. He has laid some vicious hits on teammates during training camp and has opened eyes with his aggressive, high-flying style.
He has hit players so hard during drills that Coach Coughlin himself has had to take him aside and remind him that he is still playing against his teammates at the moment. But when asked about the hard hits Coughlin responded by saying, "That's why he's here."
Phillips has been a quick learner of the Giants defense so far just as he was in Miami's system when he started immediately as a freshman. It is yet to be seen how much playing time he will get in his first full season but he seems like he will get his fair share of snaps. The Giants drafted a playmaker and they know how talented Phillips is and what he can bring to the defense.
Phillips has been getting work in on the first team defense. He has received nothing but rave reviews from the coaching staff and teammates. Newsday quotes Corner Back Aaron Ross saying, "In five years, there might be some people regretting it" (referring to the draft and Phillips' unexplainable fall to the Giants).
I will have to agree with Ross and think that he will become one of the premiere safeties in the league one day. Five years might be an overstatement too. Look for Phillips to make an immediate impact for the Giants this year as he fills a glaring need for a playmaker from the safety position with the departure of Gibril Wilson. Gibril leaving for Oakland might have been a blessing in disguise for Big Blue.