Pro Football Focus has released its latest mock draft, and has the Pittsburgh Steelers selecting Miami pass rusher Jaelan Philips at No. 24 overall.
Philips was outstanding for the Hurricanes in 2020, tallying eight sacks and 15.5 tackles-for-loss. He also had an interception.
He began his career at UCLA, where he played two seasons before briefly retiring from football due to three severe concussions. After sitting out 2019, he transferred to Miami for his lone season.
Philips was a highly-touted recruit coming out of high school and ranked as the No. 1 player in the country by 247Sports.
At 6-foot-5, 266 pounds, Philips measures up as one of the better edge rushers available. Still, his troubling concussion history will likely be a concern during the draft process.
The Steelers selected outside linebacker Alex Highsmith in the third round of last year’s draft, who had a promising rookie campaign.
With pass rusher Bud Dupree likely having played his last football in Pittsburgh, Philips would be an outstanding replacement opposite T.J. Watt. A training camp competition between Philips and Highsmith would be one of the most intriguing storylines on the team next August.
The 2021 NFL Draft gets underway Thursday, April 29 in Cleveland.