One of the biggest names that the Minnesota Vikings signed this offseason was Harrison Phillips, who comes to Minnesota after spending four seasons with the Buffalo Bills. He’s already been recognized as the most underappreciated member of the Vikings before even taking a snap with the team, and now another outlet is telling us about how underrated he is.
Behind the great E$PN paywall, the gang from Football Outsiders has put together a list of the most underrated players on each NFL team, and Phillips gets the nod for the purple. Here’s what they had to say about him:
Phillips blossomed as a player last season, particularly in the run game. He finished eighth in ESPN’s run stop win rate in 2021, placing him just below the Rams’ vaunted duo of Greg Gaines and A’Shawn Robinson. For a Vikings team that finished the 2021 season last in adjusted line yards, second-to-last in ESPN’s run stop win rate and 25th in run defense DVOA, Phillips could make a major impact.
I certainly hope that Phillips can make the impact that the Vikings were hoping to get from Michael Pierce, who they said goodbye to this offseason. Pierce was pretty darn good when he was on the field, but wound up playing just eight games for the Vikings over the course of two seasons. Phillips missed most of the 2019 season, his second year in the league, with a torn ACL, but appears to be well and truly recovered from that.
If Phillips can shore up the interior of the Minnesota defense so they can stop getting killed in the run game, it will open things up for the tandem of Danielle Hunter and Za’Darius Smith (among others) to get after opposing quarterbacks and help out a developing young secondary.
We know what Harrison Phillips is capable of doing. If he can continue to bring that to the table now that he’s in Minnesota, he likely isn’t going to be underrated or underappreciated for long.