Miami Hurricanes DE Jaelan Phillips called explosive by NFL analyst

Oct 10, 2020; Mandatory Credit: Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 10, 2020; Mandatory Credit: Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports /

In his one season with the Miami Hurricanes defensive end, Jaelan Phillips was finally able to overcome injuries and live up to his ranking as the top player in the 2017 recruiting class. Phillips had 45 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss and 8.0 sacks in his one season with Miami. Phillips was selected 18th overall in the 2021 NFL Draft.

After being drafted by the Dolphins, Phillips will not have to go far to continue his football career. Phillips was the first defensive lineman selected in the 2021 NFL Draft. With minimal playing time during his collegiate career because of injuries, Phillips has a lot of development to do during his NFL career.

Most NFL analysts and scouts believe that Phillips is ready to make an impact in the NFL. Expect Phillips to continue to get better as he gets acclimated to the NFL. Phillips lived up to his potential at Miami Pro Day. The numbers Phillips posted at Pro Day wowed even analysts and scouts. Phillips probably rose on draft boards.

Greg Cosell, the nephew of broadcasting legend Howard and a respected film analyst and producer for NFL Films was quoted by Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald praising Phillips. In just one full college season, Phillips played himself into a mid-first-round NFL Draft pick. Phillips has all the skills to be an elite edge rusher.

"“I’m not going to compare him to Chase Young. He’s in a class of his own. But of all the edge rushers I’ve watched, all the ones considered the top guys, I liked his tape the most, his traits the most. He’s sudden, he’s explosive, flexible, power, balance, competitiveness. He checked all the boxes.To me, he has elite movement and change of direction. He was rarely on the ground.”"

Phillips performed well for the Miami Hurricanes against the pass and the run in 2020. The Dolphins finished in a four-way tie for eighth in 2020 with 2.6 sacks per game. Against the run, the Dolphins have to improve finishing tied for 17th allowing a generous 4.5 yards per carry. Phillips will likely begin as a situational pass rusher.

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Phillips was versatile throughout his college career. At UCLA Phillips was used as an outside linebacker in the Bruins 3-4 defense. The Dolphins will be able to line up Phillips throughout their defensive formation. Phillips could be a sleeper for NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in the 2021 season.