Defensive end Jaelan Phillips shines on Pro Day

Photo credit: Miami Athletics
Photo credit: Miami Athletics

In lieu of the NFL combine this year, each school is holding its own Pro Day for college players hoping for a future in the National Football League.

On Monday afternoon, six former Miami Hurricanes participated in the University of Miami’s Pro Day in front of representatives from all 32 NFL teams, including head coaches Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots and Brian Flores of the Miami Dolphins.

Defensive end Jaelan Phillips, a projected first round pick, impressed in every event, especially in the 40-yard dash, where he ran a 4.56.

“The proof is in the pudding,” Phillips said after Pro Day concluded. “My play on the field, that I didn’t miss a snap, a game or a workout…I’m a guy that does all the right things. I do all the extra things.

Phillips posted a 36-inch vertical jumps, 10-5 broad jump, 4.12 shuttle time and 21 bench press reps of 225 pounds. He measured in at 6’5, 260 pounds. After a 2020 season where the 21-year old had 45 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss and eight sacks and one interception through 10 games played, his draft stoke rose significantly and his performance at Pro Day only boosted in further.

The five other players participating in the Pro Day were defensive ends Greg Rousseau and Quincy Roche, tight end Brevin Jordan, kicker Jose Borregales and 2019 defensive lineman Chigozie Nnoruka.

Rousseau, who last played for the Hurricanes in 2019 after opting out of the 2020 season, measured in at 6’6, 266 pounds and ran a 4.68-second 40-yard dash, a 30-inch vertical jumps, bench pressed 21 reps of 225 pounds, broad jumped 9-7 and had a 4.45-second shuttle time.

Rousseau said he did not PR everything, but felt like he had a solid day overall.

“I feel I can improve in every single part of my game,’’ he said. “I just have to keep working — whether it’s my hands, my get-off, learning the game, upping my football IQ, the whole nine yards.’’

Photo credit: Miami Athletics

If selected in the first round, which some analysts project happening, Rousseau and Phillips would be the first school since 2006 to have two defensive ends selected in the first round.

Quincy Roche, a graduate transfer from Temple this past season, measured in at 6’2, 243 pounds, ran a 4.62-second 40-yard dash, a 32.5-inch vertical jump, a 9-11 broad jump and benched 23 reps.

In 2019 at Temple, Roche had 49 tackles, 19 tackles for loss and 13 sacks in 12 games. With the absence of Rousseau at the defensive end position, Roche was a big help for the Hurricanes’ defensive line in 2020.

Temple in 2019 where he compiled 49 tackles, 19.0 for loss, 13.0 sacks, 5 PDs in 12 games.

“I missed my landmarks by a little but overall I’m excited with my numbers today,’’ Roche said. “I definitely think I showed by athleticism. Drills were smooth. I’m completely OK. …If you watch my film I think I’ve checked all the boxes.’’

The only offensive player at Pro Day, tight end Brevin Jordan, measured in at 6’2 1/2, 247 pounds, ran a 4.63-second 40-yard dash, 31-inch vertical jump and 17 bench press reps.

Jordan did not appear happy with the results of his performance.

“I’m kind of disappointed honestly. I ran a 4.6 40… The shuttle? There’s no way I ran a 4.6 [4.62]. I can run a 4.3 without trying. I need to get the official time for the shuttle. And the vert, I jumped a 34’’ and expected a 38.’’”

During his three years at UM, Jordan had 105 receptions on 1,356 yards with 13 touchdowns. In 2020, despite missing three games, he had 38 receptions for 576 yards and seven touchdowns. In the route-running and catching drills during Pro Day, Jordan caught passes from former UM quarterback N’Kosi Perry, who backed up D’Eriq King this season and will be transferring elsewhere at the end of the academic year.

“Any offensive coordinator in the NFL is going to love me,” Jordan said. “You can line me up anywhere…If a linebacker is guarding me in the NFL, I’m going to win nine out of 10 times. To make an NFL roster, would be unreal to me.”

Jose Borregales, Miami’s steady and reliable kicker from the 2020 season, went 12-for-13 and made a long of 60 yards on Monday. During the season, Borregales, a graduate transfer from FIU, completed 90.9 percent of field goal attempts, going 20-for-22 and made all 37 extra points attempted. Borregales was the recipient of the 2020 Lou Groza award, an award given to the nation’s best kicker.

You have to keep low expectations because we are specialists,” Borregales said. “We are taken at the backend of every draft. We just need one shot and we make the most out of it.”

Photo credit: Miami Athletics