Jaelan Phillips showed promise as the Miami Dolphins top EDGE rusher
After a slow start, many were questioning if Jaelan Phillips was yet another first round bust selected by Chris Grier. However, Phillips ended the season strong and has given Miami an impact pass rusher heading into the 2022 season.
Once touted as the top recruit in his draft class, Phillips was committed to UCLA and played football for the Bruins until he was forced to medically retire due to injuries. After being cleared, Philips transferred to the University of Miami and excelled enough to be a first round pick.
In his first season with the team, Phillips finished with 8.5 sacks, 16 quarterback hits, and 42 tackles. He played in all 17 games and started in just five games.
Phillips did not record his first solo sack until week 5 agains the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He then had a streak of at least a half sack in five games including a three sack performance against the Carolina Panthers and a two sack performance against the New York Giants.
However, Phillips went on a cold streak to end the season not recording a sack in the final four games.
The team will need to make a decision on EDGE rusher Emanuel Ogbah who is set to hit free agency. Ogbah was the teams leading sacker with 9.5 sacks on the season.
If the Dolphins want to continue to have a dominate defense, they’ll need Phillips to take that next step to be a consistent dominate threat as a pass rusher. The team has lacked a consistent pass rusher since Cameron Wake.