Could Myles Jack Be Next Ray Lewis?
When Ray Lewis entered the NFL Draft in 1996, many NFL decision makers thought he was undersized. Lewis was drafted by the Ravens with the 26th pick. Lewis went on to have a 17 year career that is the stuff of legend. He was one of the greatest football players of all time. I hate the idea of comparing a draft prospect to a future inductee of the Pro Football Hall of Fame; but a young Myles Jack resembles a young Ray Lewis.
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Lewis and Jack have nearly identical builds. Lewis is 6’2″ and 240 pounds. Jack is 6’1″ and 245 pounds. Jack has sideline to sideline speed and great acceleration. Jack may even be quicker than Lewis was entering the NFL. That quickness and burst are what makes Jack a likely top-10 pick. Both players hit with the power of Thor’s hammer.
In 1996, the inside linebacker had to be the biggest and baddest man on the planet. Now the league is less concerned about thumpers and more interested in speed. It’s a passing league, and the ability to cover is now a top job requirement in the NFL. In 1996 Jack would not have been an early first round pick either.
From a physical standpoint, Lewis and Jack are very similar. This means two things. It first means that Jack has an unbelievably high ceiling. It secondly means that if he has the intangibles that Lewis brought to the table, then he could be a hall of fame inductee himself some day.
Jack is a spark plug. He lifted the play of his UCLA teammates. Jack is a leader. There is an energy about him that people seem to be drawn to. Jack has a high football IQ. He flies around on the football field, which is a tribute to his athletic ability and his instinctive ability. Jack has a natural feel for the game that makes him hard to stop. He certainly fits the number 52 mold.
Jack understands the game of football from both the offensive and defensive perspective. He has experience at the running back position. This helps, because he knows how a back thinks. He knows what a running back looks for and he can use this to his advantage as a linebacker. Jack’s pursuit of the football is quite incredible.
When Jack suffered a devastating knee injury this past fall, he dedicated himself to his NFL future. He left UCLA and focused solely on rehab and rebuilding himself. It was a slightly controversial move, but it shows his mindset. He is a driven athlete, with an unreal motor.
Jack has the potential to be an amazing player. It should be made clear that there will never be a player quite like number 52. Nobody will ever mean more to Ravens fans than Lewis. What we’re talking about is a draft prospect that fits the mold, an archetype.
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The Ravens could very well take Jack with the sixth overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. The Indianapolis Colts went from Peyton Manning to Andrew Luck, to the league’s jealousy. Imagine how the Ravens opponents will cringe if they draft Jack and pair him with C.J. Mosley.