If UCLA linebacker Myles Jack tumbles down the draft board, he should remember that the games are more important than the draft.
Many great players were not top-10 picks, including a former Ravens linebacker who did pretty well as the 26th pick in the 1996 draft.
Ray Lewis was not expected to be the great player he became, considered too small by some scouts to become a dominant player. Those scouts were wrong, as Lewis won two Super Bowls during a legendary Hall of Fame career.
You can’t blame the Ravens if they decide to pass on Jack with the No. 6 pick, due to concerns about his surgically-repaired knee. They can’t afford to miss, especially coming off a 5-11 season.
Imagine the criticism the Ravens would hear if Jack missed a significant part of next season, after wide receiver Breshad Perriman missed all of last season with knee problems. At least Perriman didn’t enter the draft as potentially damaged goods.
Everyone is familiar with Jack’s medical history.
If Jack’s knee doesn’t hold up, the team that drafts him will be disappointed, but not shocked.
Still, watching Jack sit in the green room will be one of the most compelling aspects of Thursday night’s draft coverage. Cameras will be on him, and Jack will be nervous. The longer he waits, the more he will be determined to silence doubters.
“When I show everybody I’m fine, I want those people to eat their words,” said Jack, via the Los Angeles Times.
Those people could include the Ravens, who are now expected to bypass Jack and choose another talented player.
Taking Lewis in 1996 was the right move for the Ravens. Unfortunately for Jack, passing on him in 2016 is the safe move.