Myles Jack’s “a different person” when he straps on his helmet

Photo: Mark J. Terrill/AP

Photo: Mark J. Terrill/AP

BY: ED COLE

GLENDALE, Ariz. – Myles Jack must have felt like a pincushion when he met with NFL teams at the NFL Scouting Combine last week. Jack says the teams he sat down with were “really aggressive” in trying to see what kind of shape his knee was in – the one he injured in practice during his senior season at UCLA.

“I don’t think there will be much of a concern,” Jack says of the level of concern teams might have with him and his knee. “I tore my anterior meniscus. It’s a four-month healing process, so it is what it is. When it’s healed, it’s healed (and) I’ll be back. That’s up for them (NFL teams). I just have to show it’s fine, and I don’t think they should be worried about it.”

In looking at various draft boards, it doesn’t seem like Jack’s knee is slowing down his draft status. He’s a consensus Top-10 selection, even creeping into the Top-5 on a lot of them; Jack’s that highly regarded, and justifiably so. Scouts just love the speed Jack kept from his running back days, his strength and his never ending motor when he’s going after the quarterback.

That’s why he’s going to be an impactful player in the NFL for years to come.

The fact that Jack played safety, running back and linebacker with the Bruins, he feels, gives him an advantage over other linebackers that are coming out in the 2016 NFL Draft. Jack believes that, whomever takes him on Day One of the draft, is getting a player who’s versatility is unmatched.

“That’s kind of the cool part about it. Being at UCLA, I played so many different positions,” Jack said. “I really want to leave it up to the teams. I kind of label myself as a football player, and wherever you want to put me at, that’s fine. As far as weight goes, I’ve heard some teams (could) even try me at strong safety. I can go from 230 (pounds) to 255 (pounds). It doesn’t matter as far as weight, I let the teams decide.”

“It’s a cool position to be in, where you’re not just a MIKE (linebacker), you’re not just a WILL (linebacker), you’re not just this (position),” Jack said. “It’s an interesting place to be in.”

Teams that are already in love with Jack’s physical makeup, will do backflips when they hear what kind of competitor he is. This young man takes a backseat to no one in that department.

“I hate to lose. I hate losing. (I) hate getting scored on,” Jack said. “I’m just a tenacious player. When I put that helmet on, I’m a different person. I think that’s how you have to be; you have to be a angry person. You’re a defensive player, (and) you gotta be a defender, so you have to play that way, and protect the end zone.”

“I bring a lot to the table,” Jack said. “(With) my competitive nature, I’m not gonna stop until that clock hits 0:00.”

Of course, the question, “Who in the NFL do you pattern your game after?” had to be asked, and Jack actually had quite a few players on his list, as he’s looking to oppose some of them this coming season, depending on what team takes him.

“It’s a lot of guys,” Jack said. “So obviously starting with (Panthers linebacker) Luke Kuechly; I really admire his game. (Patriots linebacker) Jamie Collins, (Steelers linebacker) James Harrison, (Broncos linebacker) Von Miller; I try to steal a little bit out of his game. I mean he’s the Super Bowl (50) MVP. It’s a gang of guys that I really watch. My (UCLA) guys (Vikings linebackers) Eric Kendricks (and) Anthony Barr. I’m really a thief. I steal from other people’s games, and add it to my game. That’s me.”