Philip Wheeler   #52 OLB

Height: 6-2   Weight: 245   Age: 29

Born: 12/12/1984 Columbus , GA

College: Georgia Tech

Experience: 7th season

High School: Shaw HS [Columbus, GA]

TCKL

16

SCK

0.0

FF

0

INT

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Combine 2008

Combine
Stats:

  • 3 Cone Drill7.11 secs
  • Bench Press24.0 reps
  • 20 Yard Shuttle4.29 secs
  • Broad Jump118.0 inches
  • Vertical Jump31.0 inches

Strengths

Positives: Not muscle-bound but has the potential to carry more bulk with the thick lower body and wide shoulders, along with large hands you look for in a middle linebacker...Can track the ball quickly vs. plays in front of him (struggles to see the ball with his back to the quarterback in passing situations)...Smart player, but is better diagnosing vs. the run than pass...When he is able to locate the ball, he reads and reacts quickly, making good adjustments on the move...Shows decent awareness and instincts to locate the ball on inside runs and has good quickness to shoot gaps and disrupt plays...More of a downhill guy that diagnoses plays quickly, but has just adequate speed to chase the ball outside...Must do a better job feeling block pressure, as he does get covered up working inside. He can strike and bounce off a lineman when he keeps them off his body...Not really a stacker, especially vs. bigger linemen, but when he plays at a good pad level, he will stall a fullback and not hesitate to attack the rush lanes...Gets fooled on play action, but has better instincts vs. the run...When he stays in position and plays square, he can fill the inside holes...Does not have the range to get wide for an outside running play, but keeps his feet on the move and can strike with good pop on contact in the open...Has just enough change-of-direction agility to get through some traffic jams...Struggles to break down, but when he keeps his pads down, he can push back and drive through the ballcarrier...Times his blitzes well and shows good awareness to shoot gaps and apply pressure...Has just adequate speed, but flashes some burst to close on the quarterback and finish his rushes...Shows the anticipation off the snap to find a clean rush lane and bring heat to flush the quarterback out of the pocket. Negatives: Has wide shoulders, but is not really muscular and could use further upper-body development to add strength...Because of his lack of strength, he struggles to defeat blocks when working in-line, especially vs. double teams...A bit stiff in his hips, failing to open them properly when dropping back in pass coverage and struggling to break down and tackle in space...Has just adequate speed and change-of-direction agility, appearing a step behind, at times, when chasing the ball and navigating through traffic...Has good arm length, but does not reach into blocks well, causing him to get engulfed the offensive linemen...Gets too reckless in his play, especially when trying to recover after out-running the play...Adequate worker in the offseason and needs to be monitored in the weight room...Will get too tentative when he can't find a clear lane and lacks the strength to clear his own lane when trying to blitz...Not a vocal leader. That role seemed to affect his performance as a senior, and some believe he's better when he doesn't have to think so much...Must show a better feel for blocking schemes, as he will generally be covered up on inside runs...Has only adequate strength to take on blocks and doesn't use his hands well, causing him to struggle to separate from blockers when playing in a phone booth...Can mirror short-area receivers, but needs to get more aggressive with his hands in attempts to reroute them, as he allows too many easy short throws to be caught...Must improve his hand placement and punch, or he will continue to struggle to shed tight ends...His tight hips contribute to his issues tackling in space and he shows just adequate straight-line speed to flow to the ball, looking stiff when trying to redirect or move laterally when trying to navigate through traffic...A hard hitter who knocks ballcarriers back on contact, but struggles to break down, as he leaves his feet often...Must show better cutting ability from his breaks, as he will take false steps in transition, especially when he is forced out of his pedal too early by a receiver eating up his cushion and getting behind him...Shows adequate ability to turn, open, and get depth in his pass drops, but is too rigid in his movement and has only adequate quickness and hip snap to cover ground in a hurry...Although he can make plays on passes he has a shot at, he lacks natural ball skills or hands...Poor playmaker in zone coverage...Started developing a bad habit of throttling down when not involved in the play and showed marginal desire in his long pursuit during his senior year. Compares To: WILL WITHERSPOON-St. Louis...Wheeler is not the second coming of Keith Brooking. He is an efficient blitzer who does a nice job of keeping plays in front of him, but he is too inconsistent in reading keys and his penetration skills might be better suited for the outside. However, he lacks the range to make plays in long pursuit, is a bit stiff in his hips and can be exposed when he comes out of his backpedal. He has some decent value forcing the run, but he fails to use good punch or hand placement vs. tight ends and is marginal in coverage. If some team can be happy with a two-down player, Wheeler might fit their needs, but he's not an every-down contributor based on his play in 2007.

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