The Miami Dolphins drafted Jaelan Phillips with the 18th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Many fans were not thrilled with the selection, but not because they did not like Phillips. Miami fans wanted the Dolphins to take former Alabama running back Najee Harris instead.
However, general manager Chris Grier and head coach Brian Flores do not value running backs the same way as the fan base, so they went with Phillips.
Phillips was the top edge defender in the 2021 NFL Draft, but he had some concerning injury history.
That injury history will worry some fans, but it is clear that the Dolphins have faith in Phillips and think highly of them. And do not take Miami’s word for it; take arguably the greatest coach of all time’s word for it.
Bill Belichick spoke highly about Jaelan Phillips.
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is entering his 47th year in the NFL and is already one of the greatest coaches of all time. Belichick is well-respected for his ability to evaluate talent and find diamonds in the rough.
“His athletic skills will go up there against anybody, in any era.”
BB previews Jaelan Phillips and the Dolphins defense on the Belestrator. pic.twitter.com/l58lNDWa5y
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) September 10, 2021
The Patriots took Mac Jones with the 15th pick in this year’s draft, with Miami taking Phillips three choices later. Had it not been for a significant need at quarterback for the Patriots, I think we all got a pretty good idea of who Belichick would’ve been pounding the table for on draft night.
Belichick spoke to Scott Zolak about Miami’s first-round rookie, Phillips. Belichick said, “This a player that started at UCLA, then sat out a couple years, transferred to Miami. Very athletic, fast, explosive. You know, probably one of the best test athletes, honestly, that I’ve ever evaluated. His numbers and his size, and his athletic skills go up there against anybody in any era. So, big, explosive player on the edge that they added.”
First of all, Belichick saying “in any era” is what makes this praise huge. Belichick famously coached Lawrence Taylor, so for him to make a statement like that makes it that much more significant.
Phillips has not taken a snap yet in the regular season of the NFL, so for Belichick to put his name behind words like that holds weight, in my opinion. Some people may feel he is just using his famous coach speak, but it is clear Belichick scouted Phillips well in those few words he said.
Dolphins fans are excited to see what Phillips can do, but they want to see him produce and produce fast. Will that happen? Time will tell, but it is clear that Belichick believes Phillips will be a good player for the Dolphins. And I do not know about you, but that holds a lot of weight to me!