Pro Football Focus let their fans do the talking in their latest 2021 NFL Draft mock.
Using a simulator formula, followers of the football analytics outlet decided to pick Miami pass rusher Jaelan Phillips for the Buffalo Bills. After Buffalo fans watched the team struggle to get to the quarterback throughout the postseason last year, it comes as little surprise that a pass rusher is the move.
Here’s the PFF breakdown of the pick:
Bills fans decide to juice up the team’s pass rush with the toolsy Jaelan Phillips. Tampa Bay demonstrated what a ferocious pass rush can do en route to a Super Bowl win, and the NFL is a copycat league — pass-rushers dominate Buffalo’s Mock Draft Simulator selections.
Phillips is a physical freak who oozes power and blows through contact with offensive linemen. Injury history is the biggest concern for Phillips, especially considering he retired after 2018 due to a series of concussions. However, he came storming back to football in 2020 by putting up a monster season and recording nine sacks and 36 total pressures over his final seven games.
In Buffalo, head coach Sean McDermott’s scheme has long called for a big rotation on the D-line. Because of that, Phillips could be a strong prospect for both the short and long term. Considering the Bills went after the likes of JJ Watt and others in free agency, it’s an area the team certainly wants to address, not just a knee-jerk reaction from fans.
In 2020, Phillips, who transferred from UCLA to Miami, had a breakout year. In 10 games, he had a career-high eight sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss.
Truthfully, Phillips has been a promising player since high school. The problem with him is his previous health issues involving concussions which caused him to step away from the game. If the Bills trust his bounce-back from that, he could be a late-round steal.
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