Every year a portion of the NFL rookie class is prohibited from immediately getting to work with their new teams depending on which college they attended.
Jacksonville Jaguars second-round pick Myles Jack is one of those players affected by the rule this year and he’s not happy about it.
“It really sucks,” Jack said, via Mike DiRocco of ESPN.com. “That’s the best way I can put it.”
Jack attended UCLA, which runs on a quarter system. NFL rules prohibit rookies in participating in offseason work until their school’s senior class has finished their terms. While schools that run on a semester system usually conclude classes in early May, schools on quarter systems don’t wrap up until early June.
Therefore Jack has to wait before being able to return to the practice fields in Jacksonville. All rookies are able to participate in rookie mini-camps regardless of school systems.
Jack will miss all of the Jaguars’ OTAs before being able to take part in the team’s mandatory mini-camp in June. In the meantime, he has a playbook and can study film of the Jaguars’ practices from afar.
“I think I’m missing like a month and some change, and you can’t get that time back,” Jack said. “I’m going to make the most of it, and hopefully when I come in I’ll have the best idea of the playbook I possibly can so that way they can kind of clean me up and get me right.”
Green Bay Packers first-round pick Kenny Clark – also from UCLA – is similarly annoyed.
In theory, the rule makes sense. It attempts to give players the freedom to complete their final classes in college without the inherent pressure of immediately getting to work in the NFL while just weeks from wrapping up a degree. In practice, the rule has issues. It applies to players that have already graduated as well, which doesn’t seem to make much sense.
So Jack awill have to play catch-up once he’s finally allowed on the field again next month.