Colts grab EDGE Jaelan Phillips in latest PFF mock draft

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Kevin Hickey
·2 min read
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The Indianapolis Colts selected former Miami edge rusher Jaelan Phillips with the No. 21 overall pick in Pro Football Focus’ latest mock draft.

This one comes from Andrew Erickson of PFF. The only edge rusher to go off the board before Phillips was Kwity Paye of Michigan so the Colts had their pick of the group.

The Colts’ cumulative edge grade was the seventh-lowest in the league last season. Outside of DeForest Buckner (90.2), no other defensive player posted a PFF pass-rush grade above 70.0.

Indianapolis needs to make some noise by adding pass-rush depth, and that comes in the form of Jaelan Phillips. The Miami edge rusher fits the Colts’ defensive scheme and can provide the juice needed to put pressure on the opposing quarterback. He came away from last season with PFF grades of 83.0 or higher as a run-defender and pass-rusher.

Phillips is also a physical specimen, testing in the 80th percentile or better in every workout during Miami’s pro day.

Phillips checks a lot of the boxes the Colts like in their edge rushers. He’s an incredible athlete that shows agility and the ability to run the arc with flexibility and speed. He also meets the arm length threshold the Colts have seemingly used (33 inches) since Chris Ballard took over.

The biggest issue with Phillips is injury. He had three diagnosed concussions during his two seasons at UCLA, among other injuries. This forced him to retire and after a year away from football decided to come back and enter the transfer portal where he went to Miami.

The concussions alone are enough to keep Ballard away from using the No. 21 overall pick. The UCLA doctors wouldn’t clear Phillips to play after that third diagnosed concussion. With all the information coming out about that injury, it wouldn’t be a surprise at all if Ballard passed on Phillips despite how talented he is.

The draft is less than three weeks away and edge rusher is the team’s biggest need. Will they go with Phillips despite his injury history?

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