One of the most dynamic players on tape leading into the 2016 NFL draft, Myles Jack out of UCLA could see his stock tumble in relation to his knee.
Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News reports the electric playmakers’s knee has “bone and cartilage starting to break away” already, with his source calling Jack “a time bomb.”
This report falls in line with what Dane Brugler of CBS Sports noted last week after Jack went through with his medical recheck:
I've been trying to brace my fellow Myles Jack fans for this…
His rechecks did not go well for several teams. Longterm question marks.
— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) April 15, 2016
Once considered a lock as a top-five pick, this news will give teams picking anywhere in the top of Round 1 pause. Of further concern is the fact that Jack is not running a 40-yard dash for teams this year, even though at this stage in his recovery he should have been able to bust one out with no worries.
Heck, if every team is hearing the same thing about his knee, he could fall out of the first round altogether. That isn’t likely to happen, given his body of work at UCLA and his freakish athleticism. But it’s also not out of the question.
Jack, if healthy, is a prototypical new-era NFL linebacker. He can cover running backs and tight ends better than they could cover themselves, can drop into the deep middle in a zone and attacks the line of scrimmage with the instincts and fervor of a tiger striking its prey.
These traits have teams drooling about plugging him in from Day 1 as a starter who can make an instant impact. But if his knee isn’t going to hold up, it’s hard to know how teams would value such a risky pick.
Draft currency isn’t cheap. Every team wants its first-round pick to play for a decade-plus and halfway expects it to happen. Players who can’t give teams a reasonable expectations of their ability to be that guy typically find their stock take a huge hit.
At the same time, this could also just be a leak in the media by a team that desperately hopes Jack falls to them. Dirty pool, but it’s part of the business.