Myles Jack
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Will Myles Jack Be Jacksonville’s Man in the Middle?

The middle linebacker position is one of obvious need for the Jacksonville Jaguars. The team will bring back 10 of its 11 starters from last season, with Paul Posluszny announcing his retirement from football last month. It’s possible Myles Jack will return to the middle of the defense, giving the team more speed up the middle.
Myles Jack was a second-round pick out of UCLA in 2016, the same class that produced Jalen Ramsey. Jack, who was thought to be a sure-fire first-round selection, had some injury concerns that saw him slip. The Jaguars traded up to grab the linebacker, a move that paid off this past season.
Jack moved outside to allow Posluszny to do what he did for this defense – acting as a leader and coach on the field. Now, with a hole inside. Jack may move back to the spot the team envisioned for him from the start.
“Myles Jack manned that spot last season whenever the Jaguars had five defensive backs on the field but lined up at strongside linebacker in the team’s 4-3 base defense,” writes Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com. “It turned out pretty well: Jack was the Jaguars’ second-leading tackler in both the regular and postseason.
The Jaguars could use that formula again, or they could move Jack to the middle permanently. The most important thing, Jaguars’ head coach Doug Marrone said, is that Jack’s development in 2017 has the team confident that he can handle any role they give him in 2018.
“I thought, in my mind, that Myles took a really good step in the right direction and stepped up last year,” Marrone said. “I thought he played really well for us. And I think that if we left Myles at SAM at regular personnel and put him at MIKE in nickel, that’s fine. If we moved him in there for all three downs now, if we have someone that we feel we can put at SAM, whether it’s Blair [Brown] or whether it’s someone that’s not here yet, we have the ability to do that.”
Jack’s improvement may not stop the Jaguars from drafting a linebacker – Rashaan Evans of Alabama or Leighton Vander Esch of Boise State.
DiRocco also wrote, Marrone said where Jack lines up in 2018 depends on the development of Blair Brown, a second-year player, and whether the team drafts a linebacker or adds one later. Marrone said the lineup today would be Jack at middle and Brown, who played mostly special teams in 2017, would be the strongside linebacker.

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