Mister Elias De'Angelo "Whop" Philyor / WR / Age:24 / Ht:5'10" / Wt:182 / 40yd: 4:58
On September 26th, 2022 the Michigan Panthers made an exciting move, by signing Whop Philyor. If you are a fan of Indiana, or watch the Big 10 at all, you know who Whop is. You may know him as the viral sensation nicknamed after the Burger King Whopper. Most likely you know him because he caused you headaches, like his 11 catch game to help the Hoosiers beat the ranked Michigan Wolverines in 2020. One of Indiana's all time leading receivers, he finished his collegiate career with 180 catches for 2067 yards and 12 TDs while starting in only 22 games and playing in 35 total games. As of now he is 4th in catches, 9th in yards, 16th in TDs, and 1st in double digit catch games for Indiana all-time.
Going into the draft, many people thought he was a top 5 Big 10 WR. Unfortunately, this is not how his night turned out and he went undrafted before signing with the Minnesota Vikings. There he was waived and joined the practice squad. For us this is very good news. All these roads led to this moment, where Whop was able to sign with the Michigan Panthers. I am expecting big things from him. The man is a human highlight reel, every time he touched the ball something big happened. I mean there is literally a 17 minute highlight video on YouTube of his top 50 best plays at Indiana. Do not worry though, I have collected some of my favorites and they will be included here.
Now let's talk about what's most important, what he brings to the Michigan Panthers. He once referred to himself as "The Energizer Bunny" and he can be seen on the Indiana sideline firing everyone up during the game. This was something the Panthers lacked last season. Players came in deflated and lacked some energy and it showed in our offense.
He also has unbelievable speed. His drag routes remind me of Kavonte Turpin and he is just as dangerous in space. Don't believe me? Watch his highlight film and see how many YAC he has. Here's a clip of a simple in-route that shows his blazing speed and turns into a touchdown on an always elite Michigan State defense.
There are a lot of wide receivers out there with speed, but to have speed and great hands is a very rare occurrence. Somehow we got Whop, who has both. His catching ability is out of this world. Unfortunately, it is not as consistent as I hoped, but the USFL is a great place to work on this. He does prove multiple times that the talent to be a sure-handed WR is there. Check these catches out.
The Rutgers catch is incredible because the Panthers' QBs threw some passes that looked very similar to that last year.
His size does not matter. When watching his film, he plays so much bigger than he looks. One of the main things that stands out is how hard he is to tackle. It takes a fundamentally perfect tackle or a couple bodies to bring this guy down. There is a play against Eastern Illinois where it takes 6 different players to bring him down on a bubble screen. You know what, let me just show you.
Finally, the best part about him is his versatility. He is primarily a slot WR, but that did not stop him from lining up outside or even at RB. He opens up the playbook with his elite ability to make screens and end arounds go for big yardage. This is a very exciting pick-up in the offseason and I am so glad he will not be in the USFL Draft next year.
OKAY, okay it is not all positive with this guy, so I will tell you some of the downfalls the coaches and I have noticed. He is not the best at the jump ball and gives up space in contested passes. As I said before his hands are not as consistent as one might hope. He also has trouble diagnosing the defense to change his route. The good news? These are all fixed with coaching and practice. He has all of the talent and skills that he needs to be elite in the USFL and play at the next level.