He is a top five prospect but medical red flags are scaring teams away. Is he worth the risk?
Last night during the first-round of the 2016 NFL Draft, former UCLA Linebacker Myles Jack went undrafted. Talent wise he is a top five player in this draft, but medical concerns about his knee is the reason he is dropping.
#NFL med source tells me Myles Jack knee more troubling in some ways than Jaylon Smith. While Smith's heals in time, Jack's deteriorates— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) April 29, 2016
He is fine right now, but there are concerns his knee is a "ticking timebomb". Does he have one year, two years, three years before he needs major Surgery on his knee? That's the concern and why he is available during day two of the draft.
Jack spoke candidly about his medical concerns prior to the draft, and he may have hurt his stock even more by doing so.
"The degenerative problems are there, but it’s nothing extreme," Jack said. "Down the line, possibly I could have Microfracture Surgery — potentially. Who knows what will happen? Nobody knows how long anybody is going to play in this league. To play three years in this league would be above average."
Seeing the words "Microfracture surgery" are always concerning for NFL GM's. Players who undergo that surgery often do not come back the same player they once were. Former first-round pick Jadeveon Clowney underwent that surgery and has yet to really live up to his top pick status in Houston. So he is the cautionary tale about elite talents undergoing microfracture surgery.
Now with all that said, Jack has elite talent will make teams think twice about drafting him. Is Jack worth the risk? Is having Jack potentially for 2 or 3 years worth a second round pick? If you watch his tape and think maybe he won't need major surgery or talk yourself into it, you end banging the table for this guy.
Jack is a 6'1", 245lb linebacker who could be a first-round pick at running back. He has elite Von Miller-like athleticism. He can blitz, cover anyone, and tackle anything. He is a playmaker on the defensive side of the ball. He should have been a top 5 pick last night.
He was a dominant player at UCLA at linebacker. He totaled 178 tackles, 15 tackles for a loss, 1 sack, 4 interceptions, and 1 forced fumble during 19 career games at UCLA. He also had 68 rushing attempts for 387 yards, a career 5.7 YPC, and 11 total rushing touchdowns. He's just an athletic freak.
So should the Denver Broncos roll the dice and trade up for a player like Jack? He is fine right now and will contribute to the defense for the next two or three years at a high level before worrying about his knee. After that, things become murky and unknown.
The Broncos do not have a lot of pressing needs they need to address and have plenty of draft picks to trade if they valued Jack. But it's a risky decision if they decide to do it.
Personally, I would roll the dice. The Broncos roster is stacked and they can take a chance on a player and not worry about the consequences going forward. If he needs surgery? That sucks but you move on. If he doesn't? You get a top five talent in the second round.
What do you think Broncos Country?