Emmanuel Ogbah gets some much-needed help on the opposite side of the Miami Dolphins defensive line.
Once all the dust settled, Emmanuel Ogbah turned out to be the best signing of last year’s record-setting free-agent class. He recorded eight sacks in an eight-game stretch early last season. Once offenses realized that Ogbah was the primary threat off the edge, they shifted protections to help neutralize him.
When it comes to rushing the passer, a rising tide lifts all boats. The addition of Jaelan Phillips means that Ogbah no longer has to be the featured pass rusher. He’ll see more one-on-ones, running backs, and tight ends in pass protection than he did last season. This is also a contract year for him, so he’s intrinsically motivated to perform well.
From a skillset and athleticism standpoint, Phillips has the tools to come in and have 8+ sacks his rookie season. Just in the last two years, we’ve seen Nick Bosa, Chase Young, Josh Allen (Jacksonville) and Brian Burns all come in and have an immediate impact in their rookie seasons. Phillips has the tape and the physicality to cement himself in this peer group. If not for the injury history, he would’ve been a top-10 pick. His “retirement” in 2018 had more to do with UCLA’s protocol than his commitment to football.
Phillips also serves as a stylistic complement to Emmanuel Ogbah. Ogbah is more along with the mold of Jason Pierre-Paul; a heavy-handed edge rusher who wins with power. Phillips’ bread-and-butter is his speed rush with his flexible hips and balance to bend around the edge. When the ball is snapped, he’s consistently a yard ahead of everyone else. Phillips also has a wicked cross-chop which he mixes in with great effect. The defense should have more success this year when only rushing four or five, compared to last season. Consistent blitzing doesn’t work against QBs who thrive off-script. Refer back to the Chiefs and week-17 Bills matchups for proof.