Cane Warning! Dolphins select quarterback hunter Jaelan Phillips with 18th pick
The Dolphins drafted defensive end Jaelan Phillips of the University of Miami with the 18th pick in the first round on Thursday night.
Phillips, 6-foot-5, 260 pounds, had eight sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss this season. Phillips was the first pass rusher selected in the draft.
Miami had not drafted a player from Miami since Lamar Miller and Olivier Vernon were taken in 2012.
"Words can't even describe how I feel right now," Phillips said. "This is literally like an out of body experience. There is nowhere I would rather be than the 305."
Phillips can play a key role as a rookie considering Miami traded edge Shaq Lawson to the Texans for linebacker Benardrick McKinney this offseason. Like Lawson, Phillips can be effective while standing up or with a hand on the ground.
Phillips joked about how he just moved all his belongings from Coral Gables out to California, where he was raised.
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Dolphins unfazed by Jaelan Phillips' injury history
One concern about Phillips is injury history. He has dealt with two concussions and injuries to his wrist and ankle.
Phillips once retired from football while at UCLA and before transferring to Miami.
"All I can say about that is perseverance," Phillips said. "There were good days and bad days and I had people around me to support me."
Phillips said teams are comfortable with his medical history. He said he connected well with Dolphins coach Brian Flores.
Asked what he can offer the club, Phillips said: "Tenacity and hard work. Be a humble servant. Be a sponge. Earn the respect of my coaches and teammates."
Phillips said he was a fan of Shawne Merriman and Lawrence Taylor as a youngster. He also has studied J.J. and T.J. Watt and Chandler Jones.
Phillips will join a pass rush rotation that includes players like Emmanuel Ogbah, Andrew Van Ginkel and Vince Biegel.