An anonymous report may result in the Philadelphia Eagles having to reshuffle their draft plans for the first round.
That is, if they aren’t planning on just taking a quarterback no matter what.
The infamous “league source” report is back at it again, this time reporting that UCLA linebacker Myles Jack, who is projected to go in the Top 10 in most mock drafts this year, may have trouble staying healthy in the long term due to his knee injury.
As with any anonymous league source report, it’s hard to know the true validity and importance of what is being said. I believe that someone actually believes Jack’s knee may be a problem long term, and I tend to agree if it’s as bad as what this person is saying. However, it’s hard to know how many people feel this way who will actually be making picks on draft day.
In the end, I don’t think this will ultimately affect where in the draft he is picked because people knew his knee injury this past season was serious and would need a lot of time to heal. In fact, the bad news regarding the future of Notre Dame LB Jaylon Smith’s playing career, arguably one of the most talented players in the draft, may even help Jack’s ultimate value. I didn’t see a single mock draft that had Smith above Jack, but the news on both of them makes Jack’s situation at least a little better and may make teams view the situation differently.
Jack was one of my favorite players in this draft class, and I was really hoping the Eagles would have an opportunity to take him. However, if Les Bowen’s source is accurate and/or what many people feel, I’m not sure I’d be willing to part with a top 10 draft pick to get a guy who will only have six or seven healthy years at most. This is exactly the same reason why I don’t want the Eagles to pick a running back in the first round. If there’s a high chance the player will only last six or seven years as a good player in the league, why use your top pick on him? I understand it’s hard to predict things like this, but with running backs and serious knee injuries, especially microfracture ones (see Jadeveon Clowney), the outcome is usually very similar.
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Some believe a player like Jack or Ezekiel Elliot is still worth the high pick because of how talented they are expected to be, but like I always say, any player picked in the top 10 is supposed to be a special player, that’s why they’re projected to be selected that high. If there are other players who are essentially just as talented who don’t have any serious injury concerns, why not go with one of them? To some it may seem too safe, but to me it seems like the logical choice.
Before I completely scratch off Jack’s name from my big board for the first round, I’ll be interested to see if there are any more reports that have actual names attached to them. However, for now, I’m putting a red flag on him, because if his knee injury requires an eventual microfracture surgery like Clowney did early on in his career, he may be a huge hassle to deal with.