With Miami’s 18th overall pick in the upcoming draft, they will have a considerable amount of options in front of them, maybe Jaelan Phillips.
Miami could choose to go with a running back, who could help take pressure off of Tua Tagovailoa in his second season. Miami could also look at the defensive side of the ball, picking up an impact playmaker at linebacker or an edge rusher.
Today, I want to briefly discuss one of those edge rushers.
A lot of focus has been on Gregory Rousseau because of his stellar sophomore season. But, does it make sense for the Dolphins to make a run at taking his running mate with their second first-round pick?
Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami
2020 stats: 21 tackles, 8 sacks, 1 interception (stats courtesy of ESPN.com)
Chances of Dolphins taking him: 33%
Jalean Phillips, similarly to Rousseau, is an athletic monster who could thrive in the NFL. He is strong enough to take on opposing tackles and can do damage rushing the passer either at the line of scrimmage or coming off the edge as an outside linebacker. Phillips also does a good job against the run, which could help him see the field early and often. He will need to work on his pass rush move arsenal, but his athleticism and motor are just what NFL teams are looking for in their pass rushers.
Phillips could be a great addition to a Dolphins squad that could use some help generating some pass rush. While Miami wasn’t terrible in this department last season, a consistent edge rusher who can put pressure on quarterbacks in a dominant fashion is just what this defensive unit needs as a final touch.
Is 18th overall a fair value pick for the Dolphins to take the talented, athletic edge rusher, even if he is a bit of a raw prospect?
The biggest question mark as to whether or not the Dolphins will take the talented edge rusher is value. Is 18 too high for Phillips? It depends on how the board falls.
If there are still some top-quality defensive players available, like Rousseau or Kwity Paye, Miami may choose to go with the other Hurricane or the more established Paye. If Micah Parsons somehow falls because of an insane run on quarterbacks in the first round, he might be a safer option at 18, although that seems unlikely. Miami could also target Najee Harris here and finalize a first-round rebuild of the offensive skill positions.
Miami finds itself in a pretty great situation where they can take the best player available to fill a need. Because they will still have a few needs on the roster and there is a very good chance for a number of players to fall, Jalean Phillips might not be their best player available at that spot.
If they do take him, however, Miami would be getting an ultra competitor who could help transform a dominant defense into something even more special.