Baltimore Ravens among 3 best NFL team fits for Myles Jack
The PFF analysis team recently put out its latest draft board for 2016, this time including the top 100 NFL prospects.
Where do the top prospects fit best? We identified three ideal team fits for each player in the top 10, based on scheme, need and where each prospect is likely to be selected.
UCLA linebacker Myles Jack is one of the most intriguing prospects in this entire draft class, in part because labeling him as simply a linebacker isn’t doing him justice. Our analysts view him as having the potential to play different roles for different teams – anywhere from a 4-3 outside linebacker to a 3-4 inside linebacker to a hybrid linebacker-safety-slot corner mold — given his elite coverage skills paired with good run-defense and pass-rush ability.
He missed most of 2015 with injury, but in 2014 he was PFF’s top-graded linebacker in coverage, despite the fact that teams rarely threw his way – he had the fourth-lowest rate of targets per coverage snap among linebackers. He also graded positively as a pass-rusher, and earned the ninth-best tackling efficiency rate in the nation, having missed just five tackles all season (four in run defense, one in coverage).
With the Cardinals’ implementation of Deone Bucannon in a hybrid linebacker/safety role this season seemingly all the rage, Jack could be selected as early as the top 10 (we have him No. 6 on our board).
Here are three team fits that would make the most sense:
San Diego Chargers: Even though we have higher-ranked players on our board who will be available to San Diego at No. 3, there’s a case to be made for the team to consider Jack that early. He’d pair well on base downs at 3-4 inside linebacker next to Denzel Perryman, who excelled as a run defender as a rookie but earned a negative coverage grade. On passing downs, his presence could allow the team to use Jeremiah Attaochu in an exclusive pass-rushing role, or fill in as a slot corner/safety hybrid following the departure of Eric Weddle.
Jacksonville Jaguars: The Jags are an intriguing landing spot for Jack at No. 5 overall, as they’d have the option of using him in multiple roles. He could play 4-3 outside linebacker on base downs and stay on the field for obvious passing situations in coverage, but he’d also be an upgrade as a box safety over John Cyprien (who was expected by many observers to fill a Kam Chancellor-type role in head coach Gus Bradley’s system, but graded out as PFF’s second-worst safety last season) or could play a linebacker/hybrid role similar to the one Bucannon does in Arizona.
Baltimore Ravens: Our boss Cris Collinsworth put Jack with the Ravens at No. 6 overall, and there are lots of reasons to like the fit. He could be slotted in at 3-4 inside linebacker next to C.J. Mosley, who graded positively last season in run defense and as a pass-rusher but negatively in coverage, and also stay on the field in obvious throwing situations in a hybrid position.