With big names being tossed around such as Joey Bosa, Ronnie Stanley, and DeForest Buckner, it's easy to forget the linebacker in the shadows. The more I watch the more I'm interested in this violent wrecking ball with unreal speed and coverage skills.
Myles Jack is what they mean when talking about 'freak athlete'. The man earned both Pac-12 Offensive Rookie of the Year and Defensive Rookie of the Year. He has unnatural speed as a linebacker to cover everything from tight ends and tailbacks, to slot corners. That's not an over-estimation, I've watched him do it. He also isn't sloppy in coverage, hand-fighting and pressing without grabbing and initiating too much contact.
Myles Jack is the perfect counterpart to C.J. Mosley. A frighteningly good coverage linebacker built on speed, aggression, and hard-hitting.
- Athletic phenom
- Coverage specialist
- Former tailback, understands routes and cut-off points
- Lateral quickness, not just straight-line speed
- Obvious playmaker
- Speed and agility to get off blocks
- Strength to off-balance blockers
- Ridiculous versatility, from 3-4 edge to 4-3 edge in sub-packages
- Constant energy, seeks out contact
Putting it mildly, that's a lot of pro's. I wasn't nearly as excited for Jack before, but the sheer speed, agility, and coverage ability puts Jack in a top-10 selection. But it ain't all sunshine and rainbows.
- Awkward build - not terribly, but it's clear he was built as a running back. Low and not extremely lengthy for wrap-up tackles
- Cut-off angles are sloppy at times
- Needs to be more controlled in play-style - Tackling mechanics aren't solid
- Big hitter - not a wrap up specialist
- Torn ACL late September
That last one just hurts, because Baltimore knows how to coach linebackers. Peter Boulware, Adalius Thomas, Ray Lewis, Bart Scott, C.J. Mosley, Terrell Suggs, the list is big, especially for only 20 seasons as a franchise. Unfortunately, no team can train health. No team can coach ligaments or bones to higher strength. Otherwise all weaknesses can be coached.
From an NFC executive, "I wouldn't get cute with him. I would stick him at WILL and just let him be a free running chaser. He has the speed to get to everything and his cover talent will set him apart."
The biggest comparison currently in the NFL I have seen, from NFL.com is NaVorro Bowman. Getting a cheshire cat grin imagining Bowman and Mosley.
The Ravens need this kind of play badly, more so than edge rush talent. If it becomes Bosa or Jack, it's very tough to see which way the scales tip. Versatility in the Ravens scheme would be very nice to have, and with Daryl Smith out Baltimore has zero coverage linebackers. C.J. Mosley has become better, but nowhere near as Myles Jack already is.
I was Team Bosa through and through two weeks ago, but this linebacker could help the Ravens become the nastiest pairing team in the league. If Jack and Mosley reach their potential, they could knock off Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis as the best LB tandem in the league. A big if, but just being possible to that high of a grade is eye-opening.
NFL.com closes their draft profile of Myles Jack with a perfect closer,
"BOTTOM LINE Upper echelon explosiveness with the desire, speed and aggression to find his way into play after play. While UCLA asked Jack to do a little bit of everything, an NFL team is more likely to simplify his tasks and set him into attack mode to maximize his outstanding physical traits. If he bounces back from the knee injury, Jack could become a high-end talent early on in his career."
Oh how dare I almost forget to post a YouTube highlight video...