Hello? Is this thing on? This is your tour guide speaking.
This summer we're exploring the top ten Jaguars of 2019. So far we've studied the ultra-versatile playmaking receiver, Dede Westbrook, and the pass blocking specialist, Andrew Norwell.
Next up, we have the uber-talented middle linebacker, Myles Jack.
Let's get one thing straight: Myles Jack should have been a top ten pick in 2016. But a — now — seemingly bogus report from Les Bowen of Philly.com that claimed Jack's knees were a "time bomb" according to the ever-vexing "anonymous NFL source," caused Myles Jack's draft stock to plummet just days before the start of the NFL Draft. Jack slid all the way to the second round, and the Jaguars quickly pounced at the opportunity to add the former running back to their linebacker group. GM Dave Caldwell traded up to get in front of the Ravens, who were believed to also be eyeing the speedy linebacker.
Jack has it all. Speed, size, agility, playmaking ability, natural instincts, and a mean streak when he gets to the ball. So, why isn't he higher on the list? For one, his transition to being the Jaguars' full-time middle linebacker didn't go quite as well as planned last season. And the Jaguars' coaching staff should undoubtedly shoulder some of that blame. They've moved Jack from the weak side to the strong side and now have him in the middle. If Jack had been able to focus on becoming the best middle linebacker, he could be from day one, he likely would be much further ahead in his progression at this point.
It's easy to predict that by season's end, Jack could be much higher on a list such as this. In terms of talent, there may be just one player — a man known simply as 2.0 — on the Jaguars' roster who eclipses Jack. He weighs in at 245 pounds and has the speed to outrun almost anyone on the field. He's hard not to notice getting from sideline to sideline and covering some of the most dangerous weapons in the game today.
But Jack does need to take strides in his second full season as the Jaguars' starting middle linebacker. He needs to react quicker and stop thinking so much. If he's able to play without having to think about how to process things that are happening on the field, his true potential could be unleashed in 2019. If that happens, every offense on the Jaguars' schedule could be in for a rough go of it when they face 44 and the rest of the Jacksonville defense.
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