The Cowboys aren’t in desperate need of edge rushers with DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory returning for 2021. But after that, they are a little thin. They have Dorrance Armstrong, and newly-signed Tarell Basham, but it still isn’t the deepest of positions on the roster. Expect the team to add to the position in the draft.
We’ll look at one possibility, but likely only if they trade down in the first round.
Name: Jaelan Phillips
Class: RS Junior
Prototypical size at the defensive end position, and pairs his impressive frame with above average athleticism, length, and pass rush moves. Rushed the passer with solid flexibility in his lower half off both the left and right side. Showed the ability to win from inside and outside blockers chest with quick hand work and efficient footwork. Uses his hands and arm length really well when rushing the passer. Showed a variety of ways to win off the edge in 2020. Has versatility to play in even or odd front schemes with little concern. Ascending player with high-level traits.
Far too aggressive getting up the field when playing the run on the edge. Has a tendency to false step, and rush too high off the ball at times. Plays with poor pad level more than you’d like to see, leaving his chest vulnerable as a pass rusher, and poor containment as a run defender. Only one year of big-time production could scare teams off inside the top 40. Injury history is concerning, so medicals will be big for a lot of teams.
In a class that lacks a consensus EDGE1, Jaelan Phillips has the makings to be the draft’s best pass rusher. Pairing impressive size with impressive athleticism, Phillips’ ceiling in the NFL is one of the higher ones in this class. Won’t find a pass rusher coming out that showed more of a variety of moves than Phillips, who showcased high-level pass rush moves and counters for such a young player. Pairing his size, length, athleticism, and pass rush moves all together makes Phillips an extremely exciting edge defender. If Phillips can check out well medically, and continue to stay healthy in the NFL, he has the makings of a star.
Jaelen Phillips— Trevor Sikkema (@TampaBayTre) November 16, 2020
That's a tight corner for a man who's 6-6, 265 pic.twitter.com/2E3CGk44mb
With their pro day today, I wanted to highlight @CanesFootball EDGE Jaelen Phillips — @JJPhillips15 —— Mike Tannenbaum (@RealTannenbaum) March 29, 2021
He is a natural pass rusher w/ strong hands & movement skills but has about as many medical concerns as possible (forced to medically retire while at UCLA due to concussions) pic.twitter.com/HXRPeer9zB