Jaelan Philips made the most out of his opportunity in Miami
Jaelan Phillips was a five-star recruit coming out of high school and played one year at UCLA. In January of 2018, while still a freshman, he was in a moped accident and suffered a broken left wrist, which required multiple surgeries. The California native returned to UCLA for his sophomore year but the pain in his left wrist was too much to bear and suffered another concussion. Phillips was advised by doctors to medically retire and did.
Missing football, one year later in February of 2019, Phillips transferred to the University of Miami. It couldn’t have worked out better for Phillips because as Gregory Rousseau opted out, in slid Phillips. In his one year at Miami, he had 45 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, eight sacks, and 36 pressures in just seven games.
Phillips is probably the most polished edge rusher in the draft in terms of his pass rush ability. He can beat you with speed, power, strength, bend, or with a variety of pass rush moves. Quite frankly, Phillips is silky smooth for someone his size. He is also able to set the edge against the run while using powerful hands to strike tackles and stand them up in order to make a play.
The Raiders should focus on rebuilding their defensive line. Draft an edge rusher in the first round and defensive tackle in the second round. That’s where it begins and ends.
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1 thought on “Raiders Must Target These 3 Edge Rushers Early In the Draft”
Rousseau is the obvious pick. I love his length, size, athleticism, and production. Everything that a first-rounder should have – no need to “project” what he will do. And he may get back to the Raiders since he opted out, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he is gone.
Phillips is a major medical risk with a concussion history, and will slide in the draft, probably back into the third or later.
The kid from Georgia seems good, but the Raiders run a 4-3 and our current lightweight DE gets killed in the run game. He might be a better fit elsewhere, and I don’t think is quite at the same level as Rousseau.