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2021 NFL Draft prospect profile: Whop Philyor, WR, Indiana

Is Philyor more than just another gadget player in the NFL?

Indiana v Michigan State Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images

Pretty much everyone who watched the New York Giants in 2020 (and 2019) recognizes that the team needs a wide receiver.

At least one receiver, really.

The big questions right now seem to be how to add that receiver. Most are expecting the Giants selecting a receiver at 11th overall, but which receiver? And will that be it? Just one player then on to other positions? Or will the team take multiple swings at the position, as they did at offensive line and linebacker a year ago.

If the Giants succeed in finding the big “X” receiver most are calling for early in the draft (or free agency), they could circle back later on and look at adding another explosive element to their offense.

Mister Elias De’Angelo Philyor, better known as Whop Philyor (a nickname given to him by his parents for his love of Burger King Whoppers), has been the explosive spark for Indiana’s offense since his freshman season. Philyor certainly brings athleticism to the field, also running track for Indiana with a recent time of 7.18-second 60-meter sprint.

He shares traits with a number of other smaller and explosively athletic receivers in the draft. Could Philyor be a sleeper for the right team?

Prospect: Whop Philyor

Games Watched: vs. Ohio State (2019), vs. Penn State (2019), vs. Michigan State (2019), vs. Wisconsin (2020)
Red Flags: Ankle (2018)

Measurables

Career Stats

Games Played: 35
Receptions: 180
Yards (YPC): 2,067 (11.5 per catch)
Total Touchdowns: 12

2020 Stats

Games Played: 8
Receptions: 54
Yards (YPC): 495 (9.2 per catch)
Total Touchdowns: 3

Quick Summary

Best: Speed, agility, quickness, acceleration, vision, run after catch
Worst: Size, route running, catch consistency
Projection: A receiver, or offensive weapon, in a spread or air-raid offense.

Game Tape

Full Report

Indiana’s Whop Philyor is a lean, athletic pass catcher with the potential to impact an offense from a variety of alignments at the NFL level.

Philyor primarily aligned as a slot receiver in Indiana’s offense, though he also took snaps as a wide receiver and out of the backfield. He is an explosive athlete throughout the play, with a good burst off the line of scrimmage and into his route, as well as the ability to smoothly accelerate and change gears down the field. Philyor is both quick and agile, able to change direction with little wasted motion, as well as carry speed throughout his breaks.

He was usually used as a spark player for Indiana’s offense, with most of his plays designed to get him the ball in space. Philyor is a competitive and explosive ball carrier, with a punt returner’s vision and the ability to turn a bit of space into chunk yardage. He was rarely challenged with press coverage in the tape viewed, but showed a good ability to find voids in zone coverage, as well as use his athleticism to create separation out of his breaks.

Philyor is an unsophisticated route runner who’s route tree mostly consisted of wide receiver screens, stick routes, and the occasional vertical route — usually a go or post route. He also showed the occasional concentration drop or inconsistent catch mechanics. It should be noted that he was also subject to inaccurate quarterback play, and not all drops can be blamed on the receiver.

Philyor was seldom relied upon as a blocker by Indiana, both because of his explosiveness as a ball carrier and because of his deficiencies in that area. Philyor is not a good technician when blocking, which combined with his general lack of mass makes him little more than a nuisance for defenders.

Overall Grade: 6.7 - This prospect has the athletic traits to be an impact contributor early in his career, as well as bring special teams upside. He will need technical development and greater consistency to be an every-down player at the NFL level.

Projection

Whop Philyor projects as an important role player in an offense based on Spread or Air Raid principles. He should also bring upside to special teams as an option to return kicks or punts.

Philyor’s initial value will come as a third receiving option for teams that use misdirection and spacing to attack defenses. He has the potential to be an every-down receiving option, but coaches will need to work with him to expand his route tree and run his routes with greater precision before his role can expand in most offenses.

That being said, his ability to create explosive plays with the ball in his hand shouldn’t be underestimated. He has legitimate track speed — he competes on the Indiana track team — and solid vision for creating yards after the catch.

Teams that aren’t afraid to adopt and build upon college concepts should be able to get Philyor on the field immediately and he could be a dangerous option for the right offensive mind. A more traditional offense will likely view Philyor as a developmental slot receiver, but with the upside to be an explosive weapon with which to attack the middle and deep parts of the field.