Atlanta Falcons fourth-round pick Clark Phillips III. Rob Gray-USA Today Sports
Atlanta Falcons NFL Draft

Falcons Find Best Value on Day 3 of NFL Draft: Analyst

First-round picks receive the majority of attention, but the Falcons, and other NFL teams, should be building through the depth of draft. Those are picks in the second and third rounds and even Day 3 selections.

According to Bleacher Report’s David Kenyon, the Falcons accomplished that with one pick. Kenyon claimed they found a diamond in the rough with fourth-round choice Clark Phillips III.

“Clark Phillips III closed at 25th in B/R’s rankings and seemed like a strong contender to find a home on Day 2,” wrote Kenyon. “[But] Phillips stayed on the board until the Falcons scooped him up with the No. 113th pick — and as the 15th cornerback selected.

“Phillips has a legitimate chance to earn a starting role in Atlanta opposite A.J. Terrell within two years. Not bad for a fourth-rounder.”

Kenyon listed Phillips as one of the best seven value picks in the entire 2023 NFL draft.

Many draft experts predicted Oregon’s Christian Gonzalez to land with the Falcons at No. 8 overall. Instead, general manager Terry Fontenot selected running back Bijan Robinson.

From a draft class standpoint, that appeared to be a smart move. The 2023 class was deep in cornerbacks, so rather than targeting one of the best at that position, Fontenot elected to wait. Alternatively, he drafted Robinson, who some experts considered the best player on the entire board.

That opened up the Falcons to finding tremendous value at cornerback later.’s Lance Zierlein compared Phillips to veteran slot cornerback Mike Hilton. Zierlein’s scouting report identified Phillips as slot cornerback and not a starter, but he projected the Utah cornerback to be a third rounder.

“Phillips might not be a big, long cornerback, but he’s a playmaker,” wrote Zierlein. He has the play traits to continue down that same path as a pro.

“He should become a solid nickel cornerback, but his success could be tethered to matchups from week to week.”