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2024 NFL Draft

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Get to know rookie cornerback Dru Phillips


The New York Giants selected Kentucky cornerback Dru Phillips in the third round (No. 70 overall) of the 2024 NFL Draft.

Here are five things to know about the new Giants cornerback.

1. Phillips played in 38 games with 16 starts across three seasons for the Kentucky Wildcats. He finished his collegiate career with 82 total tackles (55 solo), 10 pass breakups and three tackles for loss.

He ran a 4.48 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine while his 42-inch vertical was among the top of the leaderboard at any position in Indianapolis.

"He's sticky," general manager Joe Schoen said about Phillips. "In terms of coverage, he's around the football a lot. And watching him down in the Senior Bowl on one-on-ones, he has a lot of traits and those are things we are going to work on. He's in position, but he just has to finish a little bit better. But I really like the athlete, like the kid, look forward to him getting here."

View photos from the college careers of all six members of the New York Giants 2024 Draft Class.

2. The 5-foot-11, 190-pound cornerback saw his most action on the field this past season when he started 12 games for the Wildcats. He recorded 47 tackles (33 solo) and 1.5 tackles for loss while his five pass breakups ranked second on the team.

Phillips and Giants wide receiver Wan'Dale Robinson were teammates at Kentucky during the 2021 season and have remained close ever since.

"I can't wait to go against a great player like him," Phillips said about battling Robinson in practice. "He's established himself in a way up there in New York, and being able to compete and just go win and get better each and every day against him. It's going to be a great competition."

"I told Wan'Dale he's got to be ready for practice because Dru said he was going to be locking him up," Schoen added. "That will be good competition there."

3. Unlike some other cornerbacks in this year's draft class, Phillips enters the NFL with plenty of experience both outside and in the slot. Over the last three seasons, he played on the outside on 542 defensive snaps while lining up in the slot on 415 snaps, according to Pro Football Focus.

"He can play both," Schoen said. "He's got the versatility to play inside, and outside."

"I'm a competitive player," Phillips said during his introductory press conference. "I want to win down there at that defensive position, whether that's corner or slot, and I bring a fiery and versatility to the game and a different type of aggression I feel like every defense needs, but also at the same time, I bring that will to win. I want to come in here and help any way I can."

4. Phillips' numbers last season were even better when playing in zone coverage. He earned a solid 74.6 zone coverage grade from PFF last season, while his career-best 23 defensive stops were the most among all SEC cornerbacks in 2023.

"They like, one, is my willingness to tackle," the rookie corner said about what the Giants liked about him. "I know it's a thing, especially at those corners and now people want to tackle but I'm one of those guys, I want to get my nose dirty. Just my football IQ and just being savvy in it as well. You can be aggressive but then have some finesse to you, as well, and just go out there and win every rep."

5. Born in Mauldin, South Carolina, Phillips attended Mauldin High School where he was also a three-year letter winner in track and field as a triple jumper, ranking No. 1 nationally in 2020. He was a two-time All-State and three-time All-Region selection for the triple jump.

Phillips comes from a family of athletes, as his father, Carlos, played linebacker at Kentucky under College Football Hall of Fame coach Jerry Claiborne. His mother, LaTonya, was a standout athlete at Danville High School, and his brother, C.J., played football at Morehead State. Phillips graduated from Kentucky this past December with a degree in integrated strategic communication.

"This is a great opportunity and a great team like this. I'm so happy to be here," Phillips told the media. "I haven't stopped smiling since I got the call. It's great."

View some of the top photos from the New York Giants' 2024 NFL Draft Weekend.


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