Seattle Seahawks

After long wait in first round, former Bellevue star Myles Jack drafted 36th overall by Jacksonville

Myles Jack starred at Bellvue High School before becoming a two-way star at UCLA.
Myles Jack starred at Bellvue High School before becoming a two-way star at UCLA. Staff file, 2012

Myles Jack waited and waited and waited for his name to be called on Thursday night. Thirty-one teams made their selection in the first round of the NFL draft, and each of them passed on Jack, the talented linebacker with the troublesome knee.

Friday went a little better.

Jack, the former Bellevue High star and UCLA linebacker, was finally selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars with the No. 36 overall pick during the second round of the NFL draft on Friday.

That Jacksonville picked Jack wasn’t all that surprising. A few mock drafts speculated the Jaguars might opt for the versatile linebacker earlier in the pre-draft process — with the No. 5 overall pick, that is.

“I ended up going (in the) second to an organization I wanted to go in the first place,” Jack told reporters in Jacksonville.

Jack was described by several analysts as a top-10 talent, but recent reports indicated that the surgically-repaired anterior meniscus in his right knee — injured during a UCLA practice in September — might require microfracture surgery in the coming years. ESPN reported on Friday, though, that Jack was told by Dr. James Andrews that his knee would not require such a procedure.

Jack has insisted all along that his knee is fine — recent videos of his workouts, including a clip posted Friday of him dunking a basketball, seem to support that claim — but concern regarding its durability was real enough to keep him out of the first round. Jack watched Thursday’s proceedings live at Auditorium Theatre in Chicago, then relocated to Trump Tower for Friday’s second and third rounds. ESPN’s telecast showed him celebrating with his family after he was selected by the Jaguars, who dealt picks in the second and fifth rounds in order to move up two spots.

At UCLA, Jack starred at linebacker and played some running back, too — he was named the Pac-12’s offensive and defensive freshman of the year in 2013 — but the knee injury wiped out most of his junior season.

He declared for the draft two weeks later, saying that he felt he’d done enough with the Bruins to prove himself as an NFL prospect.

The Jaguars made it clear they agreed — even if that news came a day later than Jack would have liked.

“Somebody had to believe in me,” Jack told reporters, “and fortunately, it was Jacksonville.”

The second and third rounds came and went without any players drafted from Washington or Washington State. WSU offensive lineman Joe Dahl, a Spokane native, is likely to be selected sometime Saturday during the fourth through seventh rounds. So, too, is Huskies linebacker Travis Feeney.

KeiVarae Russell, a defensive back from Everett’s Mariner High School who played collegiately at Notre Dame, was picked No. 74 overall in the third round by the Kansas City Chiefs.

Christian Caple: @ChristianCaple

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