2021 NFL Draft: Jaelan Phillips completes the Miami Dolphins pass rush

Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami Dolphins (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami Dolphins (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

With their second first-round selection of the 2021 NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins add a true pass-rushing talent to their outside linebacking group. From their very own backyard, Jaelan Phillips made the most of Gregory Rousseau’s absence, with eight sacks through ten games in the 2020 season. As well as 15.5 tackles for loss, Phillips is a constant impact player who can penetrate and disrupt at the line of scrimmage.

If his statistical performance wasn’t enough, Phillips was the highlight of Miami’s Pro Day, posting a 36-inch vertical, 21 bench reps, and a 4.12 shuttle all at 6-foot-5, 260 pounds. Packing this athleticism into a lean, lengthy frame, Phillips presents a challenging frame for opposing offensive tackles with his length, strength, and initial burst. The first true edge selected in the 2021 NFL Draft, Phillips is much more than a promising athlete.

With both the speed to bend the edge and effective translation of power, Phillips takes a variety of approaches to his opposition with the occasional changeup of an inside-counter spin-move spliced in to keep tackles on their toes.

With some of the most active hands at the point of attack among all prospects in this draft class, Phillips remains aggressive throughout the play with constant swipes and stabs to create space between himself and his blocker. Not only active, but Phillips is also conscious of his plan of attack and looks to set up opposing blockers throughout the course of the game.

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After playing well beyond their value in 2020, Brian Flores adds a true pass-rusher to his outside linebacking group. Currently led by Emmanuel Ogbah and fan-favorite Andrew Van Ginkel, the Miami Dolphins can carry on with their amoeba-front and use Phillips as a multi-purpose pass-rusher that can slide across the defensive front, challenging both offensive tackles and interior lineman unaccustomed to handling such explosiveness.