2016 NFL Draft: 5 Risky Picks for the 49ers
Myles Jack — Linebacker (University of California Los Angeles)
Another supreme talent at his position, UCLA’s Myles Jack is considered the best linebacker prospect in this year’s draft. Jack possesses excellent versatility, a high motor, physicality and instincts for the position. However, like Smith, he suffered a knee injury last September (torn meniscus) which, depending on who you ask, he has/has not recovered from.
Jack was not able to perform at the NFL Combine or at his pro day, but his agent is not worried as he posted this video of Jack working out recently:
Maybe he will be ready to play in Week 1, but how long will he last? Per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, Jack’s surgically repaired knee is now suffering from what is called the “osteochondral defect”:
"The repair of the lateral meniscus that tore off the bone when he suffered the injury in September is not the issue, according to several sources with direct knowledge of Jack’s situation. Instead, the cartilage and bone have begun to separate, creating what is referred to by medical professionals as an osteochondral defect… If or when the bone and cartilage fully separate, Jack will need to undergo another procedure and it will keep him out for a prolonged period of time."
Rapoport further reports he spoke with a GM who wonders if Jack will make it to “a second contract” — i.e. what is his longevity in the league? This is the main question the 49ers need to ask themselves. If Jack (who has been widely mocked to the Jacksonville Jaguars at pick No. 5) happens to be available at No. 7, do the 49ers have the confidence to pull the trigger on him?
It is a salivating thought of pairing a fully healthy Jack with NaVorro Bowman. This would give the 49ers another top-tier linebacker corps again. It would improve the coverage immensely. But can Baalke risk his top-10 pick on a player who could potentially be out of the league in four or five years? Will he fall into the knee trap again?
Jack is another high-reward/risk prospect who could potentially boom or bust the 49ers 2016 draft.
Next: Paxton Lynch