JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jacksonville Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell has been pretty safe in terms of the moves he's made and the players he’s taken in his three previous drafts. For the Jaguars to be a great team, however, he said it was time to take some risks, and that’s why he traded up to get UCLA linebacker Myles Jack, who missed most of the 2015 season with a torn meniscus in his right knee. Caldwell said he explored the possibility of moving back into the first round to take Jack but didn’t want to part with a fourth-round pick.
My take: Caldwell has landed the top two defensive players in the draft in Jack and Jalen Ramsey. No matter what else happens with the Jaguars’ remaining five picks, Caldwell gets an A-plus. He gave up just a fifth-round pick to move up two spots to land one of the best athletes in the draft. Jack is the prototype for today's linebacker, where the ability to make plays from sideline to sideline is critical. Jack can cover tight ends, slot receivers and even an edge receiver at times. He didn’t do much blitzing at UCLA, but the Jaguars are going to have him do more of that. The Jaguars wanted to upgrade their speed on defense and Jack checks that box, too.
Jags say Jack's knee is OK: The Jaguars checked Jack’s knee out at the combine, when he visited and then again during an intense workout several weekends before the draft and Caldwell said he was pleased with what he saw. “He had a great workout for us and you’d never know there was anything wrong with him,” Caldwell said. “As far as we’re concerned there’s not right now. There’s no plan for surgeries. There’s no plan for any additional treatment. I think we’re good to go.” Jack also had an intense workout for the Oakland Raiders in the past several weeks and ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Friday that noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews told Jack today that he would not need microfracture surgery.
Limited availability: Jack will participate in the rookie minicamp next weekend but he will not be able to participate in OTAs because of the NFL’s graduation rule. UCLA is on the quarter system and Jack has to wait until the final quarter concludes around June, Caldwell said. He also said the Jaguars will be careful with Jack because of his knee and conditioning. That could impact his learning curve and how much he plays early in the season.
What’s next: The Jaguars currently have one third-round pick (No. 69 overall) and their top two needs right now are pass-rusher and interior offensive lineman.