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NFL Draft: Jaelan Phillips, the best pass rusher in the 2021 NFL Draft?


Despite all the praises I have just sung about Jaelan, all that may be for not as he does have one major issue that can erase all potential he has as an NFL player. That issue being concussions. During his 2-year tenure as a UCLA Bruin Jaelan suffered 3 separate concussions which forced him to temporarily retire from the game of football. 1 concussion over a lifetime is already bad enough, but 3 over the span of 2 years is well… for the lack of a better word, NOT GREAT. But moving away from the glaring injury concerns to an actual on-the-field weakness. Although he is a giant of a human, he does appear to lack a bit of bulk which can get him controlled at the point of attack. I wouldn’t be as concerned as I am with the head injury issues with this because one summer with any NFL team’s weight and conditioning staff would fix that right up. A final weakness of Jaelan’s I would like to mention is his inconsistent tackling. Jaelan tends to lead with his shoulder rather than wrap up with his arms when attempting a tackle. I’m not sure about how fixable this issue may be as this could be an effect of him receiving so many head injuries in the past that he began to become afraid of putting his head in collisions. 

Player comparison: JJ Watt & Cam Jordan  

Draft stock: Mid first round to late second round 

Scheme fit: Preferably 3-4 OLB however, he can fit realistically fit any 

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