Continuing with our spotlight series on the top prospects in this year's draft class, we highlight UCLA linebacker Myles Jack. The 6-1, 245-pound playmaker was a standout with the Bruins as a freshman and sophomore, but this junior campaign in 2015 was cut short by a torn meniscus. Still, many expect him to be one of the first defensive players selected come April 28.
Jack played just three games this past season, notching 15 tackles, an interception, and a deflected pass before suffering a season-ending knee injury in practice in late September. In his first two years in Los Angeles, he totaled 163 tackles, including 15 for loss, three interceptions, and 18 deflected passes, earning All-Pac-12 Second-team honors both years. A dynamic athlete, Jack was also used as a running back at times, rushing 68 times for 387 yards (5.7 yards/carry) and 11 touchdowns during his collegiate career. As a freshman, he put together a two-game stretch in which he rushed 19 times for 179 yards, scoring five touchdowns and also notching 13 tackles and deflecting three passes.
While Jack's days as a running back are likely behind him, many believe that the 20-year-old can step in on Day 1 and start at any linebacker spot in a 4-3 defense. And with his combination of size, strength, sideline-to-sideline speed, and coverage skills, he figures to be an impact player right away at the pro level. His versatility and penchant for making plays have made him a likely candidate to go in the top-10 of this year's draft.
Scouting Report From NFL.com
Ultra athletic and can get to the rock from any position on the field. Former running back with speed to run down crossing routes and head off running backs exploding around the corner. Adequate instincts with above average reaction off the snap. Races downhill after the snap and can weave from gap to gap with blazing lateral quickness. Able to weave through and around traffic in relentless pursuit. Plays with desired pad level and leverage. Uses hip explosion to strike on the rise with a hammering blow at the point of attack. Can jar offensive linemen off-balance with his strikes. Comes off of blocks quickly. Stepped in and was "the dude" from Day 1 at UCLA. Physical and active with alpha qualities on the field. Offers tremendous versatility for creative defensive coordinators. Has the juice to be an edge rusher in sub-packages and can fit into any 4-3 linebacker spot at any time. Has played safety and running back at UCLA. Has the strength, speed and athleticism to cover tight ends, running backs and some slot receivers. Plays with frenetic energy and is always looking to get his licks in.
What He Said
"I see myself as a football player. I want the teams to decide for themselves. I feel like I can play any position. Me personally, I like being off the ball as a Mike, Will, Sam. I think I could play strong safety as kind of a Kam Chancellor type of role. I feel like I could get the job done there." – Myles Jack on where he sees himself as a fit at the NFL level