If Myles Jack didn't tear an anterior meniscus in September, the notion that he could fall to No. 17 at the upcoming draft would be ludicrous. Jack is a skilled enough linebacker to be a top five, perhaps first overall, choice. There's a reason why a general manager called him a faster version of Ray Lewis. And there's a reason why another GM called him the best player in the 2016 class.
However, even though Jack told ESPN "no one had concerns" about the state of his knee following medical rechecks, a report from NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reveals teams don't agree on the 20-year-old's health.
So this raises the question, How will Jack's lingering injury affect his stock? Hard to say. CBS Sports analyst Dane Brugler, who tweeted he has "no clue" where Jack should be listed in mock drafts, said multiple clubs have taken the 6-foot-1, 245-pounder off their boards. Perhaps that's because some team doctors are worried the damaged knee will be a long-term issue.
Will his stock drop enough to fall into Atlanta's lap? That's easier to answer: possible, but still extremely unlikely.
Logic and draft history tell us Jack is too good to reach the Falcons' selection. Yes, he's a risk, but given his sky-high ceiling, it's difficult to imagine so many GMs—many of whom like to roll the dice—going in other directions.
Consider what Jack accomplished as a freshman and sophomore at UCLA. In 114 games during his Age 18 and 19 campaigns, he tallied 163 tackles (15 for loss), 18 pass deflections, three interceptions, a forced fumble and a sack.
He played running back for the Bruins, too, earning 387 rushings yards and 11 touchdowns on 68 carries. Because of his work on both sides of the ball in 2013, Jack was named the Pac-12 Defensive and Offensive Freshman of the Year, and Sporting News listed him on its Freshman All-American team.
Not often do front offices get the opportunity to add someone who's drawn comparisons to an all-time great. And no GM wants to be known as the man who overlooked the next Ray Lewis because he wanted to play it safe.
Those who put together mock drafts understand this. Even after news broke about the iffy medical recheck, all 109 writers surveyed in SB Nation's roundup predicted Jack will go in the top 10. Only four had Jack staying on the board after San Francisco's pick at No. 7 overall.
In other words, Falcons fans shouldn't get their hopes up. Atlanta can add a tremendous prospect in the first round, but the odds of Jack being available are low.