Performance prediction of off-axis laminates is of significant interest in designing composite structures for energy absorption. Phenomenological models available in most of the commercial programs, where the fiber and resin properties are smeared, are very efficient for large scale structural analysis, but lack the ability to model the complex nonlinear behavior of the resin and fail to capture the complex load transfer mechanisms between the fiber and the resin matrix. On the other hand, high fidelity mesoscale models, where the fiber tows and matrix regions are explicitly modeled, have the ability to account for the complex behavior in each of the constituents of the composite. However, creating a finite element model of a larger scale composite component could be very time consuming and computationally very expensive. In the present study, a three-dimensional mesoscale model of non-crimp composite laminates was developed for various laminate schemes. The resin material was modeled as an elastic-plastic material with nonlinear hardening. The fiber tows were modeled with an orthotropic material model with brittle failure. In parallel, new stress based failure criteria combined with several damage evolution laws for matrix stresses were proposed for a phenomenological model. The results from both the mesoscale and phenomenological models were compared with the experiments for a variety of off-axis laminates.