(WIVB) — Miami’s Jaelan Phillips is considered one of the top edge rushers in this year’s draft class. Phillips had 45 tackles, 8 sacks, and 15.5 tackles for loss in just 10 games last season.
“I think that I’m super versatile,” Phillips told reporters after pro day. “I’m a guy who can beat you off the edge, I can beat you with power, I can beat you with finesse on the inside. For me it’s just developing those moves.”
There are very few questions about his talent on the field but some scouts wonder about his commitment to the game. Phillips retired from football in 2019 to pursue his dream of becoming a rapper and music producer but returned to the field the following year. Jaelan says while he loves music he’s all in with football.
“Just turn on my tape. I love football. I love going out there and putting my talents on display. I play with my hair on fire. I play with a chip on my shoulder. People have other interests, it would be boring to just have one thing that you do and that’s all you do. Music isn’t a distraction by any means.”
Before transferring to Miami, Phillips spent two injury-plagued seasons at UCLA. During his college career, Jaelan was diagnosed with 3 concussions and a wrist injury that required two surgeries.
The dynamic pass rusher is projected to be a 1st round pick but medical assessments by NFL teams will go a long way in determining when his name is called on draft day.
Josh Reed is an award-winning journalist who has served as News 4’s Sports Director since 2015. See more of his work here.