2021 NFL Draft

2021 NFL Draft Jaelan Phillips Profile


Welcome back for a look at my 2021 NFL Draft Jaelan Phillips Profile! Today I’m going to walk you through Jaelan Phillips Collegiate Career by taking a look at his statistical production as well as some of his college tape. Then I’ll get into some projections featuring where I think he goes in the NFL Draft and what his IDP Outlook might be in 2021 Fantasy Football.

In case you haven’t yet, be sure to dive into my other NFL Draft Profiles before the Draft is here!

If you enjoy this piece or any of my other profiles, make sure you check out the rest of my offseason content. Included are several Podcast appearances, NFL Mock Drafts, and Dynasty Rookie Mock Drafts! Thanks for your support!

2021 NFL Draft Jaelan Phillips Profile

2021 NFL Draft Jaelan Phillips

Photo Credit: TigerNet.com

Collegiate Career


Jaelan Phillips has had one of the most interesting college careers in this draft class by far. He went from being an unrecruited prospect to America’s Top Recruit of the 2017 Recruiting Class. Which he then went on to play at UCLA after receiving scholarships from 20 of the top colleges in the country.

After playing in seven games as a true freshman, and four games as a sophomore before a concussion ended his season Phillips decided to medically retire from Football on December 15, 2018.

Then, come February he decided to enter the college football transfer portal and ended up landing in Miami. After not playing in 2019, he was named a starter in 2020. He went on to play 10 games, and have the best statistical output of his collegiate career.


The stats will fail to tell the story of Jaelan Phillips. While he performed well in producing tackles, tackles for loss, and sacks, he wasn’t a strong contributor in other areas. Which would be nice to see, considering he only managed to play 20 games in four years.

To me, Phillips is a very balanced player. His stats show he’s a solid run defender, especially at stopping plays for losses. And his sack numbers are solid as well showing he’s a good pass rusher.

The fact that his auxiliary stats were lacking some is somewhat concerning, but at the end of the day not every play is going to be a steady producer in multiple areas.

Tale of the Tape

Now this is where things get fun. Phillips’ tape is honestly impressive. One of his traits that I find most appealing is how he seems to just get better as the game goes on, and this seems to be a running trend.

He may start off slow, but it seems if that happens he just starts setting himself up to win later in the game by adjusting his mechanics to beat the tackles first punch. He learns from the game in-game. Maybe this is great coaching, or his on-field IQ showing up. Who knows.

I don’t think he’s overly fast but he definitely isn’t slow. He has a high motor that allows him to pursue ball carriers from behind and he doesn’t quit on the play.

The one knock I noticed was that he seemed somewhat inconsistent as a run defender by means of covering his gaps or running lanes. There are plays where he seems to just have everything felt out and makes it look easy. He sees the running back get the ball, sees right through any misdirection, sticks to his assignment, and attacks and makes the play for a loss. Then there are plays where maybe he’s trying to do too much and over commits and the misread results in a large gain.

All in all I see Phillips as a very balanced player. He’s not an elite pass rusher, but he has the tools. He’s not an elite run defender, but he has the tools. Which is more that can be said for a lot of players in the draft.

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NFL Draft Projections

He’s a first-round talent without question. The problem however is the injuries are going to scare some teams. I don’t expect him to escape the first-round without being drafted, but hey, anything can happen on Draft Night.

There’s plenty of needs at the EDGE position in this draft, but the ambiguity and depth at the position may push value down the board. So there’s a slim, slim chance he’s a Day Two STEAL.

IDP Projections

Given his ability to defend the run and the pass I’d expect him to see playing time early and often especially if he’s a first-round pick and if he can stay healthy. But if, if, if only gets you so far.


All told, I’m a fan of Jaelan Phillips. You can ride the injury narrative all you want, and that’s fine. But at the end of the day in this sport of gladiators careers can end on any given play. He has an injury history, sure. But if you’re drafting to be safe, there comes a point where you’re drafting to lose. Thanks as always for checking out my content, I appreciate y’all. Much love, until next time. -BV

About Bob Van Duser

Here to shed some light on the IDP side of Fantasy Football. With years of experience I intend to expand the horizons of players and show them how exciting IDP can be in their leagues, as well as providing a reputable source to those who play in IDP leagues already but may want to see a differing opinion or may be looking for further details and research

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