A year of development has done wonders for most of the Bengals’ 2018 draft class. Second-year cornerback Darius Phillips might have taken the biggest step this offseason.
Phillips was the highest graded cornerback overall and the second highest rated cornerback in coverage. When targeted, opposing quarterbacks only completed two pass for eight yards with an interception, two pass break ups, and a passer rating of 0.0.
You can’t ask for a better performance than that.
160 cornerbacks took 60+ snaps this preseason.— PFF CIN Bengals (@PFF_Bengals) August 30, 2019
Darius Phillips' 90.1 grade ranks 1st among these CBs and his 90.2 coverage grade ranks 2nd.
He was targeted 7 times, allowing 2 catches for 8 yards, and produced an INT & 2 PBUs.
He allowed a passer rating of 0.0 when targeted pic.twitter.com/XBwo9YJ57S
Not only did Phillips dominate on defense, but he improved greatly on special teams. He went from fumbling twice in Preseason Week 1 to taking a punt return to the house in Week 4 (ignoring the iffy block in the back penalty that wiped the score off the board).
Phillips was in a room with a lot of other cornerbacks that were fighting for just a few roster spots, but his big preseason helped him win a spot on the 53-man roster. Hopefully, his preseason play translates into a breakout season now that the games are real.