If the Jets wish to go defense in the back half of the first round, they could target talented edge rusher Jaelan Phillips.
- EDGE, Miami
- 6-foot-5, 266 pounds
- Second-team All-ACC in 2020
- Second-team All-American in 2020
- 2020 Stats (10 games): 45 total tackles (21 solo), 15.5 tackles for loss, eight sacks, one interception, three pass breakups
How Jaelan Phillips would Fit into the Jets Roster
Jaelan Phillips is someone who could certainly start right away for the Jets. His size, athleticism, speed, and strength will make him a versatile talent at the next level — someone who could consistently succeed as both a pass-rusher and run-stopper.
Succeeding in the pass-rushing category would be crucial for the Jets, who finished 20th in the NFL last year with just 31 total sacks. If Gang Green targets Phillips, the organization would be hoping he could translate his success at the collegiate level in that area to the pros.
The bottom line is this: A defensive line that includes Phillips, Carl Lawson, and the rising star that is Quinnen Williams would be a scary unit to go up against.
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Jaelan Phillips Film Room Notes (DE #15)
Phillips and Miami’s October 2020 loss to Clemson (one total tackle, one solo tackle, one tackle for loss, one sack)
Phillips correctly reads the zone-read option play and uses his athleticism to get in on the tackle of Clemson running back Travis Etienne.
Phillips doesn’t do a great job shedding the block here — he gets blocked to the inside and allows the Clemson ball-carrier to find space for the decent gain.
Putting the athleticism and speed on display, Phillips (at the top of the screen) is able to catch up to Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence and drag him down following the scramble.
Phillips and Miami’s November 2020 win over Virginia Tech (eight total tackles, four solo tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks)
Right off the bat, Phillips quickly sheds the block and uses that wingspan to bring down the ball-carrier.
A quick initial move on the offensive tackle leads to a sack for Jaelan on the above play.
Utilizing great vision, Phillips is able to read the fake handoff and bring down the quarterback in the backfield.
At the top of the screen, Phillips executes a quick move to the outside and uses great speed to reach the quarterback for the sack.
Finally, Phillips’ strength and power keep him upright as he gets past the offensive tackle for the sack of the quarterback.
Phillips sports the athleticism, strength, and speed to succeed at the next level, and he’d be versatile enough to take on the role of a defensive end in a 4-3 scheme or an outside linebacker in a 3-4. His 6-foot-5, 266-pound frame provides him with significant upside, and he shouldn’t take too long to find his niche in the NFL.
If the Jets were to draft the Miami stud at No. 23, he would be a great complement to free-agent pickup Carl Lawson within Robert Saleh and Jeff Ulbrich’s defensive unit.