Myles Jack is the best linebacker in this class, especially if you're concerned that Jaylon Smith is never going to return to form due to his catastrophic injury. If he somehow fell to the Falcons at #17, we would all do cartwheels, and that's exactly what ESPN draft guru Todd McShay projects in his latest mock.
17. Atlanta FalconsMyles Jack, OLB, UCLA
I'm still trying to get all of the info on Jack's medical reports, but right now, I'm not sure if teams in the top 10 are willing to take the risk on his knee. When healthy, there's no doubting Jack's ability. A true sideline-to-sideline defender, he excels in coverage and would fill a major need for Atlanta.
Knowing what's real and what's smoke is difficult, but if we assume that teams really are concerned about the long-term viability of Jack's knee, you have to consider that when you're taking him at #17. It would also explain the draft day fall for a player who is unquestionably one of the best available in this class, but the question then becomes whether the Falcons would let him go by.
It's a complicated question for many reasons, but we're not talking about Jack not being able to play in 2016 and 2017, as we would be for Jaylon Smith. This is a long-term viability question, and the Falcons are probably less concerned about what Jack's going to do six years from now than what he's capable of doing now and in 2017, when the Falcons' new stadium is opening up.
In my personal opinion, even if you think he's not a lock to enjoy a career longer than four or five years, you strongly consider Jack with this pick if he's on the board, and I wouldn't hesitate to take him if I thought he could play out his first contract (and fifth year option, if I'm being greedy) without major concern. He's simply too good, and he fills a massive void for the Falcons at linebacker, potentially lifting the defense to heights we haven't seen in many years in relatively short order.
What say you?