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The Curious Case of UCLA Linebacker Myles Jack

Myles Jack is a multidimensional Linebacker from UCLA who is primed to be one of the top 5 selections in the 2016 NFL Draft. He tore his anterior meniscus in September 2015, ending his UCLA Bruin career prematurely.  He fought hard and rehabbed his way back to be able to partake in the Combine and other events. Jack is moving around well now but a few NFL pundits are worried about his long-term durability. At least two NFL teams that have a top-10 pick,  have sought out other players after the discovery of Myles’ troublesome knee.

Myles traveled back to Indianapolis for a recheck of his knee. He seemed unaffected by his knee during his visit with the Jacksonville Jaguars.  Many compare his knee and situation to that of former All-Pro linebacker Jonathan Vilma. Vilma carved out a solid career with the New Orleans Saints  and New York Jets. He had 6 or 7 really strong years.

Myles’ agent John Thornton went off, blasting those who questioned the young man’s durability without valid knowledge. He also ripped the NFL  from their handling of the concussion data.

This young man is a unique blend. He was called on to play running back for UCLA and Coach Jim Mora after nine games into his freshman year ( he started 12 games at linebacker and 1 at running back).

He went on to win both Pac 12 Offensive and Defensive Freshmen of the Year  honors after finishing with 75 tackles, the second most ever by a true Freshman. He also amassed 267 yards on 38 carries and averaging over 7 yards per carry. He also led the team with 7 touch downs while only really playing five games at running back.

In his second season at UCLA, he won Pac 12 second team honors again for linebacker  while finishing with 28 carries at running back through 9 games.

He tore his anterior meniscus in September of 2015 and withdrew front UCLA mainly for rehabilitation purposes. He would then go on to train and prepare for the 2016 NFL Draft.

It is a interesting path for Jack and we only hope that the end game leads to multiple Pro Bowl selections at linebacker rather than the idea of what could have been.

Photo credit to LA Times via Flickr