Miami Dolphins Jaelan Phillips is about to breakout

Jaelan Phillips Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Jaelan Phillips Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

Steal of the draft? It is a good possibility when it comes to Miami Dolphins sophomore linebacker Jaelan Phillips.

Phillips was a home run draft pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and while last year was a very good year for the youngster, it wasn’t even the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

Phillips is one of three standout draft picks made by the Dolphins last year. The other two, Jaylen Waddle and Jevon Holland are on their own paths to stardom but being a pass-rushing linebacker/defensive end comes with a lot of comparisons.

So far, Phillips is getting the same accolades as say Joey Bosa or Myles Garret but that could change this year. In 2021, Phillips started only five games. He recorded one pass defended, one fumble recovery, 42 combined tackles, and a very impressive 8.5 sacks.

At one point last year, he had five consecutive games with at least 1/2 sacks including two of those games with multiple sacks. This year, there is no reason to believe he won’t continue.

Phillips is looking a lot like an early Jason Taylor who dominated his way to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

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Taylor had five sacks his rookie season before posting 9 in his 2nd season. Phillips almost matched that total in his rookie year. In Taylor’s fourth season, he posted double-digit sacks and in 2002, he put up a Dolphins record-tieing 18.5.

Can Phillips put up a similar couple of early seasons? There is no reason to believe that he can’t. Phillips can improve his rushing technique and watching tape of Taylor wouldn’t hurt. He has a long way to go before we can truly start comparing stats but so far, Phillips is off to a good start and his second season should be a good indicator of what we can expect in the future.