With the 18th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins have selected Jaelan Phillips, the defensive end from Miami. This pick has bolstered the Dolphins’ defensive line tremendously, so now, let’s break down this selection:
A needed boost for the defense
Miami had one of the worst passing defenses in the league, being ranked 21st overall and allowing 251.5 per game. With the addition of Phillips, he’ll be able to bring pressure, which would lead to more incompletions that can bring down these numbers. His addition could also bring up the sack percentage and sacks per game for the Dolphins, which they were ranked seventh and tenth, respectfully. These rankings aren’t bad, but who wouldn’t like them to go up?
He would also improve the rush defense; they were ranked 16th overall, allowing 116.4 yards per game. These are decent numbers, but there is always room for improvement. He can shed blockers, and get to the running backs quicker than anyone else on the defense, besides maybe Wilkins or Van Ginkel. His addition could also bring down the rush yards per attempt, which was 4.5 yards per attempt (19th in the league).
He will also be replacing the loss of Kyle Van Noy, who was a prominent player on that defense last season. There is a lot to be excited about in Phillips’s addition. Now, let’s breakdown how he truly is on the field, and what we’ll be seeing next season:
Breakdown of Jaelan Phillips
In ten games, Phillips had 45 total tackles, with 15.5 of them being tackles-for-a-loss. He also totaled eight sacks, three pass deflections, and an interception.
Phillips is an outstanding defensive talent. He’s fluid in every element of his game as he can shed off blockers and get to the next level with absolute ease. His speed gives him the ability to cover the entire field, and he can track down runners that run past the defensive line. He’s a slippery player that can get through and sack the quarterback, or bring down the running back for a loss of yards.
Along with all this, he has the strength of a Greek god, and he’s one of the most physically sound players in this draft. He’s someone that can make offensive lines pay, no matter what side of the field he’s on. Quarterbacks must check their beds at night before seeing him along with this entire young defense.
However, there is one thing to be concerned about. He does have an injury history that could’ve kept teams from taking him earlier. However, I’m sure the Dolphins’ medical staff will keep him under-raps so he can prosper in this league.
Jaylen and Jaelan
The Dolphins have now selected two top prospects in this 2021 Draft. It’s not really a breakdown, but I thought this was a little interesting and cool to note. Can’t wait to see what he can do next season!
What to expect from him next season?
Phillips will be a definite Day One starter next season. He’ll probably take over Raekwon Davis’s spot as Wilkins won’t be dropped off where he is now. I could see him having these stats listed below:
- 37 tackles
- 12 tackles for a loss
- Six sacks
- Two forced fumbles
- One defensive touchdown
Phillips was a great pick that will bolster this defensive line. While I never thought the Dolphins would draft him, I’m excited about what to see from him in his time with the Dolphins. He’s an explosive player with a spectacular upside!
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