Jacksonville Jaguars second-round selection, linebacker Myles Jack, saw his draft stock plummet after concerns about his surgically repaired knee came center stage.
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Jack Ready In GM's Eyes
Wednesday, May 4
Speaking with NBC Sports Radio's PFT Live, via Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell assured those concerned that Jack is a "full go":
If he was in spring ball, he’d be able to participating at UCLA’s practice, according to his operating surgeon. We look forward to getting him out here and practicing and if something does arise we do have a good plan for it. I don’t think the plan involves microfracture [surgery].
I feel confident with the kind of people we’ve consulted and our medical staff. I don’t think he’s a candidate for that from what I’ve been told, but there may be need to be a procedure somewhere down the line. As of right now he looks good, he feels good, and he’s ready to go.
Jack sustained the knee injury, a tear in his lateral meniscus, back in September 2015. It forced him to undergo surgery and miss the entire collegiate season.
Originally considered a top-10 talent, he wasn't cleared to participate in the NFL Scouting Combine in February, but his surgeon gave him the green light to train in March, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.
But some teams weren't sold, including one NFL source who told Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News that his knee was "a time bomb."
One day before the draft began, Jack disclosed to Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post that he could need microfracture surgery in the future:
That doesn't concern Caldwell at all, though:
I think there’s a lot of information out there, and all the information out there is not accurate. We feel really good about the research that our doctors have done, our medical staff, our trainers. We’ve consulted some of the best cartilage specialists in the country, and we have a plan for him.
Taking Jack was a risky pick, though it could be one of the best bargains in draft history if he manages to stay healthy and play up to the level he was expected to entering his final season at UCLA.
His addition to a linebacking group that already includes Paul Posluszny and Telvin Smith could be a huge boost to Jacksonville's defense. But if this knee limits his development, then it could be a pick the Jaguars wasted.