The 2021 NFL Draft will be a great event for teams to start building for their future. Here is the Jaelan Phillips 2021 NFL Draft Profile.
Position: Edge Rusher
Size: 6-foot-6, 260 pounds
Class: Redshirt Junior
2020 stats: 45 total tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, 8.0 sacks
Phillips had a crazy career that had him start at UCLA and end with Miami. After a monster 2020 season, Phillips has declared for the 2021 NFL Draft.
Out of high school, Phillips was one of the best players in the country and decided to stay in state to play for the Bruins. As a freshman, he had 3.5 sacks and 7.0 tackles for loss. He only played in four games as a sophomore and registered one sack. After suffering a few concussions at UCLA, it was announced that he was retiring from football. His mind changed and he ended up transferring to Miami. Following his redshirt season, Phillips recorded 15.5 tackles for loss and eight sacks for the Hurricanes. Phillips helped Miami get an 8-3 record, but they lost their bowl game to Oklahoma State.
His career has had some twists and turns, but Phillips is now heading to the NFL. Phillips is currently a projected first or second round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Phillips has demonstrated good athleticism and flexibility during the season and during his pro day. He is explosive off the line of scrimmage and keeps that momentum throughout the play. His movement abilities and bend help him get the edge and get after the quarterback.
His motor is among the best in the class for edge rushers. He plays hard every snap and plays through the whistle. With his athleticism and motor, he is able to track ball carries and make plays down the field. Even when plays are seemingly not in Phillips’ range, he is still sometimes able to make the play.
Against the run, Phillips sheds is pretty aware of where the play is going and adjusts to it. He can shed his block and then has the speed to get after the ball carrier. Phillips displays good closing burst to make the tackle. He can play all three downs at the NFL level.
His injury history is the biggest concern for teams. Not only did he almost retire because of concussions, but he also had ankle and wrist injuries at UCLA. Team doctors will need to vet the concussion situation before signing off on their team drafting him.
Phillips has good size, but this sometimes gets him into trouble, as he loses leverage. His pad level gets too high and he stuggles to maintain his power throughout some reps. He’ll need to focus on keeping his pad level low to reach his full potential at the next level.
In order to shed better, Phillips can continue to work on his hand placement and usage. If he can strike with better placement, it should help him get after the quarterback even better. In the running game, Phillips will also see the benefits of working on how he uses his hands to shed and could become an even stronger run defender.
Projected Draft Range: First Round Pick-Second Round Pick
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