The short-term and long-term health of Myles Jack’s right knee could reportedly cause the UCLA linebacker to “tumble” out of the first 10 picks of the 2016 NFL draft.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, teams have serious questions about both the immediate status of the knee and what any resulting procedure could do to the longevity of his NFL career.
Jack had his right meniscus repaired last fall. While that injury has since healed, Jack is now dealing with what is called the osteochondral defect.
“If or when the bone and cartilage fully separate, Jack will need to undergo another procedure and it will keep him out for a prolonged period of time, “Rapoport wrote. “One possibility is microfracture surgery, though there are other options that teams have discussed.”
Arguably the most talented player in the 2016 class, Jack would otherwise be a lock in the top 3-5 picks without the injury concerns.
“He’s a slam dunk,” a NFL scout told Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “He can play modern-day football, let’s put it that way. That (expletive) ain’t never leaving the field.”
Keeping him on the field might be the issue. Teams admit they don’t know Jack’s long-term outlook.
“Is he a four-year player or a 10-year player?,” one evaluator asked, via Rapoport. “But technology is better now. So we really don’t know.”
The draft is always a game of risk and reward. A player like Jack makes the delicate game even more dangerous. His game-changing ability is obvious, but will the uncertainty with his knee scare off teams picking early? Tune in for Thursday night’s first round, when a concrete answer on one of the draft’s most interesting players should finally arrive.