Once a touted prospect, UCLA linebacker Myles Jack slipped out of the first round of Thursday’s draft due to a serious knee injury.
Jack was the Pac-12 Offensive and Defensive Freshman of the Year in 2013 and an all-conference player his first two years in college, doubling as a running back due to injuries on the roster and excelling.
Jack tore his meniscus during practice with the Bruins in September 2015, ending his junior season. He withdrew from school on Oct. 6 to focus on draft preparations. Before the injury, he was widely projected as a first-round pick.
In early 2016, some mock drafts had Jack in the top 10, even after the injury. He was expected to be ready to take the field right away as a pro, but he fell from the first round regardless, the injury apparently scaring 31 teams away at that stage of the draft.
One day before the draft, Jack spoke to the New York Post, admitting that the injury came with a degenerative aspect that brings with it the possibility of microfracture surgery, a potentially career-ending procedure, early in his career. He said he would understand if it hurt his draft stock, and called it “nothing extreme.”
Jack was one of six players left in the green room at the end of the first round, and now presents a risk-reward opportunity for teams as the second round begins.