We take an in-depth look at one option for the Dallas Cowboys fourth overall pick in April’s NFL Draft: UCLA linebacker Myles Jack.
As the highlight of the 2016 NFL offseason draws near, the Dallas Cowboys are picking in prime position with the fourth overall pick. We look at the top prospects in the draft, and how they would fit in Dallas.
UCLA linebacker Myles Jack, despite missing the entire 2015 season is a projected top-five draft pick in the upcoming draft. Coming from a school that has produced a top linebacker in each of the previous two drafts; Eric Kendricks and Anthony Barr, have become key pieces to the Minnesota Vikings defense. While there will be questions about the knee injury, he has been seen working out and appears to be healthy, and a meniscus tear is typically not a cause for concern.
Jack is a coverage linebacker, and a very good one right out of theBobby Wagner
mold. He has the speed to cover slot receivers one-on-one and take them out of the game. While he didn’t play a lot of zone coverage at UCLA, he’s shown he is more than capable. When the ball is thrown his way, he attacks the point of the catch, suffocating the receiver and making it close to impossible to complete a pass, as shown here.
To go with being great in coverage, Jack is also an excellent tackling linebacker. He takes good angles on ball carriers, and once he has his hand on a player, they’re not getting away. He’s strong enough to blow through just about any blocker you put in front of them. The biggest part of his game that stands out on tape is his motor. He is always around the ball, and plays through the whistle as well as any player you will find.
Linebacker is not currently a position of need on the Cowboys. That could all change if Rolando McClain decides to walk. Jack’s most natural fit is as a middle linebacker.
Pairing him with Sean Lee would make the middle of the field a black hole for quarterbacks, giving them one of the best coverage linebacker combos in the league. They would force the opposing quarterback to throw the ball outside of the numbers, where a likely improved secondary will have plenty of opportunities to make plays on the ball.
Looking ahead of the team in the draft, the Tennessee Titans have the number one overall pick and could use any help they can get on the defensive side of the ball, which could mean the Cowboys won’t get a chance to draft Jack, but if he falls to fourth overall, the team will have a hard time passing on the linebacker.
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