Adding another name to the list, Miami (FL) EDGE Jaelan Phillips said he recently had a Zoom meeting with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He confirmed the news in a press conference following his Pro Day workout.
He also said one of the pass rushers he studies is the Steelers’ T.J. Watt.
In a relatively weak pass rush class, Phillips might be the most talented. His testing today seemed to indicate that. At 6’5, 260 pounds, he ran a 4.56 40 with a 10’5″ broad, 36 inch vert, 4.13 short shuttle, and three-cone of nearly seven seconds. Elite numbers across the board.
After sitting out a year following a transfer from UCLA to Miami, Phillips had a strong 2020 season. In just ten games, he racked up 15.5 TFL with eight sacks and three pass deflections. It’s a combination of athleticism and production that separates him from the rest of the group.
However, he has a scary history of concussions. At least three of them in college, the final one forcing him to medically retire mid-way through the 2018 season while with the Bruins. It makes him a risky project and one teams will have to do their homework on before considering drafting him. It’s likely some teams will remove him from their board due to that medical history.
On tape though, our Jonathan Heitritter summed Phillips’ game up this way:
“He reminds me a lot of Dante Fowler; an athletic, high-pedigree pass rusher that can struggle with consistency and has had his own injury concerns during his time in the league. In the Steelers’ case, he figuratively would be an early option to replace Bud Dupree given his knowledge as a standup edge rusher that has shown the ability to drop into zone coverages. However, I would caution buyer beware on Philips, especially early in the draft.”
And gave him a late 1st round-early 2nd round projection. After today’s workout, however, odds are good he stays in the first round. Potentially as the top pass rusher off the board.
Check out our full report on Phillips below.