Report: Miami Dolphins youngster Jaelan Phillips is generating buzz in league circles

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Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

A recent report indicates that Miami Dolphins youngster Jaelan Phillips is generating buzz in league circles.

“How about Dolphins edge rusher Jaelan Phillips? That’s a name buzzing in league circles,” wrote ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. “He has massive potential and seems poised for his first double-digit-sack season after 8.5 and 7, respectively, in his first two campaigns.”

Phillips, 24, was selected with the No. 18 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft after playing three seasons of college football — two at the University of California, Los Angeles and one at the University of Miami.

His best season with UCLA came during the 2017 season, his first season of college football. Phillips finished with 16 solo tackles, seven tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks in seven games played as a freshman.

The 2017 iteration of UCLA didn’t enjoy a whole lot of collective success, though. The team finished the season with a subpar 6-7 record, including a loss to Kansas State University in the Cactus Bowl by a final score of 35-17.

Phillips’ best season of college football overall came during his third and final season at the collegiate level when he was a member of the Hurricanes. He totaled 21 solo tackles, eight sacks, 15.5 tackles for loss and one interception across 10 appearances with the Hurricanes.

The 24-year-old has played two seasons in the NFL, both as a member of the Dolphins franchise. He accumulated 37 solo tackles, seven sacks and eight tackles for loss in 17 games played with the Dolphins during the 2022 regular season (15 starts). Additionally, he forced one fumble and recovered two.

Phillips managed to carry over his excellent play during the 2022 regular season into the Dolphins’ playoff game against the Buffalo Bills. The Dolphins lost to the Bills by a final score of 34-31, but he racked up four solo tackles, 0.5 sacks and two tackles for loss in the game. He arguably performed better than any other defensive player on Miami.

The buzz that Phillips has generated is certainly deserved. He’s one of the better linebackers in the NFL right now, and considering he’s just 24 years old, he likely still has his best football ahead of him. A Pro Bowl appearance in the 2023 season is very much a possibility for Phillips.

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Jesse is a 23-year-old sports journalist. He has experience covering football at the high-school and professional levels.