The train of spotlighting defensive ends the Las Vegas Raiders could draft keeps on rolling as we now turn our attention to the Miami Hurricanes Jaelan Phillips.
He played for the first time since 2018 after transferring from UCLA.
Phillips actually never ended up playing with fellow hurricane Gregory Rousseau, who opted out of the 2020 season.
He filled his shoes on Miami’s defensive line pretty well though, having a career year in putting up eight sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss.
That production was more than he had in two injury-riddled seasons at UCLA.
Those injuries included two concussions, which initially caused him to retire due to suffering from persistent headaches.
He rediscovered his passion for playing once he transferred to Miami though, and it showed in finally living up to the five-star rating he had out of high school.
In terms of his measurables, Phillips brings prototypical size at 6’5” and 266 pounds and has great athletic ability.
He’s capable of setting the edge well along with possessing a quick first step to get around tackles on a pass rush.
Teams will have to consider his injury history, and it’s certainly extensive.
You can’t say it isn’t when it became enough for Phillips to retire.
That looks to be in the rearview now though, and for teams like the Raiders who need pass rush help, Phillips should be in the conversation.
He showed what he was capable of when he was able to put his health together in 2020.
If he can do that going forward, there’s certainly potential for him to emerge as a key piece of the Raiders' defensive line along with Maxx Crosby and Clelin Ferrell if they go in that direction.
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