Finding Broncos: Scouting Miami EDGE Jaelan Phillips

Finding Broncos scouts the 2021 NFL draft class to find the best Mile High fits. What's the scoop on Jaelan Phillips and how would he fit in Denver?
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Welcome to Finding Broncos, our annual prospect-by-prospect series deep-diving on the coming NFL draft class. The scouting continues with Miami edge rusher Jaelan Phillips, a talented prospect, but does he fit with the Broncos?

Measurables

  • Height: 6 foot 5
  • Weight: 258 pounds

Stats

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Pros

  • Explodes out of his stance and attacks with smooth and calculated movements.
  • Stance versatility is there as well as scheme versatility.
  • Elite flexibility to hit the corner and get under the tackles arms.
  • Has a good balance of pass rush moves and his hand technique does well to set them up.
  • Good set of counter moves to keep blockers guessing his attack.
  • His length is really good and makes it harder for tackles to get into his chest.
  • Uses his length really well in all phases, but especially as a tackler with good form and power to drive through tackles.
  • There is good power in his hands to stun blockers.
  • Uses leverage extremely well, especially when setting the edge as a run defender.
  • There should be no questions about his motor.
  • Really good athlete that brings a solid fundamental foundation to the NFL.
  • Has a good Football IQ with breaking down plays and blocks as they develop.
  • Looked comfortable when working in space in coverage on a certain zone drops.

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Cons

  • Medically retired at UCLA because of concussions.
  • Has to improve his pad level, especially off of his get-off.
  • Does need improvement with his hand technique more so with the consistency than anything.
  • Could do better with sequencing over multiple plays to set up blockers by getting them used to one thing then catch them sleeping.
  • Needs to clean up the penalties.

Overview

If there were no concerns about the concussions and the medical retirement from UCLA, Phillips would be a top 10 prospect in this class. That is how good of a prospect he is, with most of his negatives all being a coachable point for NFL coaches.

It really comes down to if he clears the medical exams for NFL teams in a year that has a big disruption to the draft process. That just adds more questions to how teams will value him.

He is a versatile edge rusher in scheme and role with plenty of athleticism for the NFL. It all comes back to the concussion history.

Fit with Broncos

If Denver’s medical staff cleared him with the concussions, then he may be an option at number 9 overall. He is a tremendous scheme fit and being able to have a year as the backup to Von Miller before taking over for him.

Phillips can be a great pick if medically cleared at nine, but it seems like, because of the impacted draft process, that he may fall to the late first round which would be tremendous value if the medicals check out.

Grade: Round 1

Where he goes: Round 1


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