Miami Hurricanes DEs Jaelan Phillips and Greg Rousseau can make NFL Draft history

Nov 2, 2019; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Mandatory Credit: Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 2, 2019; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Mandatory Credit: Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports /

Miami Hurricanes defensive ends Jaelan Phillips and Greg Rousseau can make history in the NFL Draft next month if both are selected in the first round. Phillps and Rousseau would be the first set of DEs from the same school taken in the first round since Manny Lawson and Mario Williams of North Carolina State in 2006.

Those four share another bond. Miami senior football advisor Todd Stroud was the associate head coach and defensive line coach for the Wolfpack from 2004-2006. Also on the NC State staff from 2000-2005 was a young coach who mentored linebackers, safeties and was special teams coordinator, Manny Diaz.

Stroud was reassigned during the offseason to help Diaz with administrative duties after he added defensive coordinator to his responsibilities during the offseason. Stoud has had a long career and been at Miami the last two seasons coaching the defensive line. Miami Hired Jess Simpson in the offseason as defensive line coach.

Phillips and Rousseau and had breakout seasons coached by Stroud the last two years. Rousseau had 54 tackles, 19.5 tackles for loss and 15.5 sacks in 2019. With Rousseau choosing to opt-out in 2020, Phillips had 45 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss and eight sacks in 11 games to the 13 that Rousseau played in 2019.

At Miami Hurricanes Pro Day on Monday, Phillips was sensational running and 4.58 40-yard dash that analysts were amazed at. Rousseau ran a 4.69 40 and was praised for the length he will bring an NFL franchise. Phillips and Rousseau are projected as first-round picks in next month’s NFL Draft.

Phillips stock improved after Pro Day. Williams was selected first by the Houston Texans and Lawson 22nd by the San Francisco 49ers in 2006. Williams was a controversial pick by Houston ahead of USC running back and Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush and Texas quarterback Vince Young.

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Williams had an ultra dominant 62 tackles, 24.0 TFLs and 14.5 sacks in 12 games for NC State in 2005. Lawson was nearly as dominant with 58 tackles, 19.5 TFLs and 10.5 sacks for the Wolfpack in 2005. Simpson is highly regarded as a DL coach. Miami should continue to have success developing DL for the NFL.