Jaelen Phillips did not have the most direct path to the 2021 draft. A top ranked recruit in 2017 injuries and an off field accident led to Phillips quitting football for a year before transferring to Miami. Since then he has impressed for the Hurricanes and has covered for Gregory Rousseau who opted out of the 2020 season (a move which has done Phillips a lot of good - being a semi finalist for the Bednarik Award). He is a versatile player that could play as either an OLB or a DE and is a playmaker that is effective against both the run and the pass.
He tied for the lead among Miami defensive linemen in 2021 with 45 tackles and was the top Hurricane pass rusher with 15.5 tackles for loss and eight sacks. He had an amazing performance at the Miami Pro Day which has further pushed him up draft boards. His 4.56 40 was particularly impressive especially considering he checks in at 260 Lbs.
Only real negative to him is he can get pushed backward by bigger linemen as his height can sometimes be a disadvantage.
Teams will though likely want to look closely at his injury history and his stop-start entry to the pros. Still, a great prospect with almost unlimited upside. First-round pick.