Considered a potential top-10 pick and one of the most athletic players in this year's draft, linebacker Myles Jack was passed over in the first round Thursday night, one day after he told the New York Post that his injured knee might require microfracture surgery.
Jack, who entered the draft after his junior season at UCLA, was one of a handful of big-name prospects left in the draft's green room Thursday, and perhaps the highest-rated.
He suffered a season-ending torn lateral meniscus during practice in September. He wasn't cleared for physical activities until March, five days before UCLA's pro day, where Jack worked out publicly for the first time since the injury.
Jack told the Post that the degenerative issues with his knee are there, "but it's nothing extreme."
"Down the line, possibly, I could have microfracture surgery, potentially," he said. "Who knows what will happen? Nobody knows how long anybody is going to play in this league. To play three years in this league would be above average."
Concerns about Jack's knee caused him to fall out of the first round, a league source told ESPN's Ed Werder. One NFL doctor called Jack's admission that he could need microfracture surgery "troubling," according to Werder.
However, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter that Dr. James Andrews, who examined Jack in December, told Jack on Friday that he does not need microfracture surgery.
Jack told the Post before the draft he "would understand" if concerns over his knee caused him to fall.
"This is a talented draft class, so if I was to fall, I wouldn't take it personally," he said.
Jack will not attend the draft on Friday and will watch from a Chicago hotel instead, a source told Schefter. Jack is rated as ESPN NFL Draft Analyst Todd McShay's best player available on Day 2.
Other notable prospects who remain on the draft board include Alabama's Reggie Ragland and A'Shawn Robinson, who are McShay's second- and ninth-best prospects available, respectively; Eastern Kentucky linebacker Noah Spence; and Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith.
Spence, a former Buckeyes standout, was banned by the Big Ten in November 2014 after a few positive drug tests at Ohio State. League sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter that Spence, in an attempt to ease concerns over his checkered past, this week sent each of the 32 NFL teams the past 20 drug tests he has taken since May.
Smith suffered a torn ACL and LCL in his left knee in the Jan. 1 Fiesta Bowl. Sources told Schefter that Smith isn't expected to play in 2016 and that some teams are unsure when he'll play again.