Based on how much Najee Harris would have helped the offense, you could make a big argument for Najee Harris over Jaelan Phillips, but pass rushers are at a much higher premium over a running back in today's NFL. I would have picked Philips over Harris as well ... but there is this injury past that Phillips has which is concerning. Last year, he did not have those issues.
Barry Jackson (Miami Herald) wrote:
While it would have been tempting to select Alabama running back Najee Harris 18th overall, or traded down slightly to draft him, here’s another reason the Jaelan Phillips pick made sense: Though the Dolphins’ 41 sacks were 10th in the league, they had to blitz more than most to accomplish it. The Dolphins blitzed 39 percent of the time last season, third most in the NFL.
During the past two seasons, the Dolphins were 31st in pass rush win rate, according to NFL Next Gen Stats. Dolphins rushers defeated their blocks within 2.5 seconds only 35 percent of pass rushing snaps.
So the Brian Flores/Josh Boyer scheme helped generate sacks, but the Dolphins need more skilled pass rushers — beyond Emmanuel Ogbah — who can generate a rush when the Dolphins send only four.
That’s why Phillips at No. 18 made sense, presuming he doesn’t have a recurrence of concussion problems; he had two concussions at UCLA.
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