It shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that former UCLA linebacker Myles Jack has seen varying opinions about his game thrown his way during the draft process.
Considered the best athlete in the draft, Jack actually started his Bruin career as a running back.
So when UCLA held its pro day in mid March, it shouldn’t have been a shock that one team told the top prospect that he’d be playing safety if it drafted him in the first round next month.
That team being the San Diego Chargers, who lost long-time safety Eric Weddle to the Baltimore Ravens in free agency:
“They (the Chargers) really envision me as a DB,” Jack said in a recent phone interview, via The San Diego Union-Tribune. “Even at my pro day, toward the end, they kind of jumped in and had me do DB drills. They really envision me there. … They feel like I can fill that spot Eric Weddle was at. Obviously, they want me at a lower weight, but with my skill set, they can see me in the slot, covering and running.”
Rarely do we see a prospect come down the pike with this type of flexibility. Florida State’s Jalen Ramsey is considered a corner by some teams, a safety by others. But those are both defensive back positions, and we’ve seen talented players interchanged there over the years.
Being able to play linebacker and potentially free safety gives Jack that flexibility teams covet when it comes to today’s pass-first NFL. It truly is an oddity.
“Like they (the Chargers) were saying, the NFL is moving to mostly sub-packages. So I think that’s where the Chargers see me fitting in, a sub-package type of deal where I’m coming in and playing nickel and the safety-type role. They have plans for me. If they draft me, then I think that’s the role I’ll be playing in.”
Some will be led to the conclusion that any team selecting Jack to play safety would be in store for a long-term project. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
Jack played running back, linebacker, corner and safety in college. Heck, he even lined up with his hands down from a defensive end position at times.
While it stands to reason that most teams coveting Jack will slide him in at linebacker, there are obviously some out there who believe he’s best suited playing in the defensive backfield. It will be interesting to see how this plays out late next month.
Jack is considered a top-five prospect in the draft and shouldn’t last much further than that when the annual event is held in Chicago. Issues over a knee injury he suffered at UCLA likely won’t change this.