Miami defensive end Jaelan Phillips goes to Dolphins with 18th overall pick

Hurricanes standout will play in same stadium where he spent final college season
Jaelan Phillips selected by Miami Dolphins with 18th pick in first round of 2021 NFL Draft
Posted at 10:48 PM, Apr 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-29 23:55:06-04

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Jaelan Phillips spent his Saturdays playing football at Hard Rock Stadium last season. He'll spend his Sundays playing football there now as well.

The Miami Hurricanes defensive end won't have to leave South Florida after the Miami Dolphins selected him with the No. 18 overall pick in Thursday night's first round of the NFL Draft.

Phillips transferred to Miami from UCLA in 2019 and sat out the season. In his lone season with the Hurricanes last year, Phillips finished with 45 tackles, eight sacks and an interception.

Miami Hurricanes defensive end Jaelan Phillips celebrates vs. Virginia Tech Hokies in 2020
Miami Hurricanes defensive end Jaelan Phillips celebrates a defensive stop during the second half against Virginia Tech, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, in Blacksburg, Va.

The California native was a second-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection in 2020.

He decided to forego his senior season to declare for the draft.

"Words can't even describe how I feel right now," Phillips told reporters after being drafted by Miami. "It's literally like an out-of-body experience, but I'm just so grateful for Miami as a city. They embraced me when I came into the 'U,' and they've supported me for the last two years of my journey, so there's no place I'd rather be. Back to the 305. It's just crazy. I'm so excited."

Phillips was Miami's second selection of the evening after the Dolphins chose Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddle with the No. 6 overall pick.