Friday, January 28, 2011

HBCU NFL Draft Prospect: Phillip Sylvester, RB, Florida A&M

Phillip Sylvester, FAMU RB, started off slow in 2010, but finished the season very strong with some big performances against then undefeated Bethune-Cookman, Hampton and NC A&T. In watching Sylvester, the things that stood out to me were his speed, quickness and elusiveness. He's a smaller back at 5-8, 185 lbs, which is a concern for NFL scouts, but they love the fact that he has the speed and acceleration to take it the distance on any play. Sylvester has the feet, wiggle and change of direction that you like in a back. He also displays good instincts and has the ability to make the first defender miss. He does a decent job of setting up his blocks, but needs to show more consistency in this area and he also needs to run with better pad level as he has a up right running style. After watching film, it is evident that Sylvester runs hard, breaks tackles, and does not go down on the initial contact. Sylvester is the type of player that you want to put in space to make plays. Durability is not a big concern for Phillip, but he has battled some injuries in his career. During the HBCU Bowl week he was the most impressive back on the East roster. He also impressed the NFL scouts on hand at the HBCU Bowl Georgia Dome combine with his 4.3 and 4.4 40-yard dash times. Sylvester is currently training at the Success Athletic Training Facilities and I expect him to put up an even faster forty time at his pro day in March. Sylvester catches the ball well out of the back field and will have to make his mark at the next level as a return guy and change of pace back. He's a good blocker for someone his size but might not fair well against the linebackers that he will face at the next level. Sylvester should get an opportunity in a NFL training camp where he may surprise some people, but he will have to establish himself as a return man to better his chances at the next level.