NFL teams knew Myles Jack’s knee was an issue, after poking at it thoroughly at the Scouting Combine and the subsequent medical re-check.
But it might have been something the talented-but-injured UCLA linebacker said about his condition that scared a number of teams away, as much as the condition itself.
After Panthers General Manager Dave Gettleman took Louisiana Tech defensive tackle Vernon Butler with the 30th, he made the obligatory remark about Butler being the highest-rated player on their board.
He was then asked if Jack was even on his board.
“Oh, yeah,” Gettleman replied immediately.
When asked if he was surprised Jack was still available — since many thought would have been a top 10 pick if not for a knee injury that’s going to require more attention — Gettleman was frank.
“Not after what he said today,” Gettleman said. “Very frankly. The kid came out and said he is going to need a microfracture.”
The cartilage in Jack’s right knee was damaged in the practice accident that ended his final season, and teams already had concerns about when and to what degree he’d be back to his old form.
Jack admitted that the day before the draft began, and the admission could be a costly one. It’s not as if the teams with access to his medical records didn’t know there was some degree of problem, but Gettleman’s reaction indicated that talking about it raised the red flag a few feet up the pole.
As someone in the truth-telling business, it’s not a happy thought to consider, but it’s worth wondering whether Jack would be on a team right now if he had just kept his diagnosis to himself.