Myles Jack: Did Jacksonville Get the Steal of the Draft?
Myles could be the perfect name for this former UCLA Bruin, because the list of things he can do on a football field probably expands miles and miles. In his career down in Los Angeles, Myles Jack defended 19 passes in 29 games and still managed to make 178 tackles in that span. He had 11 touchdowns on offense in addition. Jack has a knack to attack any ball carrier and his closing speed is what I would call elite level. He’s got athleticism in spades, and all the qualities of top linebackers that accompany that athleticism, things like reaction time, lateral quickness, acceleration, agility, and pursuit. He’s stronger than most give him credit for too, busting out 19 reps on the bench press at the NFL combine to top all three linebackers taken in front of him.
Yet because of knee problems, knee problems that he’s taken all the right steps to fix, he dropped all the way to pick 36 in the draft. I could see why teams would be scared off by the fact he only played three games last season after he tore his meniscus, but to me it seems like they are ignoring the obvious facts of the injury. Because Myles Jack had his Meniscus repaired instead of removed, the recovery process was longer but after that recovery there are little to no negative effects from his injury. His missing of ten games should not be a worry to pro teams as it is only a result of his more thorough and better-for-his-productivity operation. Per the Cleveland Clinic’s official website: “The length of the rehabilitation period depends on the patient’s condition and recovery progress. If a meniscal repair is done, the recovery time and rehabilitation period may be extended – up to six weeks in a knee brace or with crutches.”
All the sources I have consulted in my search have said or implied a well-repaired torn meniscus should provide no future consequences in future physical activity. Sources including the Cleveland Clinic and Washington University’s Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Branch, the latter of which said, “After full rehabilitation and recovery, patients have no limitations.”
So I suppose the real concern must lie within his draft-day confession that he may require microfracture surgery in the future. This surgery is a great deal more concerning than the one to repair a torn meniscus, it is used to repair degenerative cartilage damage in the knee. When the surgery is successful it usually means a full return to play for an athlete. However, the surgery is only successful roughly 75 percent of the time (according to Dr. David Geier, former director of MUSC Sports Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina; and Chadwick Prodromos, MD of Illinois Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Centers). Teams did not feel Jack was worth the risk of a one in four chance that he would no longer be able to play after one to three seasons.
But two days after this confession (the day after he was selected), Myles Jack got word from Dr. James Andrews that he would actually not need microfracture surgery down the road. So that one in four risk is out the window, and here Jacksonville sits with a five-star restaurant level gourmet linebacker they got from the clearance aisle at Kroger.
All the reviews of Jack seem to say that he works harder than a mule and always puts the squad in front of himself. Any NFL player could turn out to be a bust. But the bottom line here is that the Jaguars scooped up a top ten or even top five level talent with pick 36 of the 2016 NFL draft. Myles has all the attributes, speed, and character to succeed in today’s version of professional football. Myles Jack was the steal of the draft. I suppose it’s only fitting, since his name is in the title of the city he will be playing in.
Medical Sources Referenced in Article: http://my.clevelandclinic.org/services/orthopaedics-rheumatology/diseases-conditions/meniscal-tears, http://www.orthop.washington.edu/?q=patient-care/articles/sports/arthroscopic-meniscus-repair.html, http://www.ismoc.net/knee/microfracture.html , http://www.drdavidgeier.com/jadeveon-clowney-microfracture-surgery/