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Myles Jack: "I'm ready to play ball"


JACKSONVILLE – Myles Jack was ecstatic Friday night.

That wasn't just because he got drafted early in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft, ending a long, frustrating emotional slide. The UCLA linebacker liked his destination, too.

"It's been long, it's been a little bit embarrassing, but it's definitely exciting," Jack said.

Jack, a linebacker widely considered one of the elite talents in the '16 draft, was selected Friday with the No. 5 selection of Round 2 – the No. 36 selection overall. The Jaguars traded the Nos. 38 and 146 selections in this draft to the Baltimore Ravens for the 36th selection.

Once considered a possibility for the Jaguars at No. 5 overall, Jack had slipped from Round 1 Thursday following a knee injury sustained last September. The Jaguars worked Jack out shortly before the draft in Los Angeles, and Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell said Friday the belief was Jack's talent made the selection worth the risk.

Jack called receiving the call from the Jaguars "a sigh of relief."

"Words can't put describe how I exactly felt," Jack said. "I definitely wanted to go to Jacksonville. It's just the ideal place I really wanted to go."

Jack said that was more than just wanting to be drafted.

"I'm just excited to be part of a defense like that," he said.

Jack said that's because he believes in what the Jaguars are building in that area, mentioning the free-agent signings of players such as defensive tackle Malik Jackson, free safety Tashaun Gipson and cornerback Prince Amukamara and the selection of Florida State cornerback Jalen Ramsey Thursday at No. 5 overall.

"Being a part of that I think is going to be a good situation," Jack said.

Jack also said he wanted to play for Bradley, saying the head coach "earned my trust" during the pre-draft process.

"One of the things he preaches is trust," he said. "It's just an ideal situation. … It's a perfect pick, perfect fit."

Both Bradley and Caldwell on Friday said Jack's pre-draft workout them made them more comfortable with the selection, with Bradley calling it a vigorous workout that significantly tested the knee.

"That was the workout I was very excited for," Jack said. "I woke up that morning and I was ready to rock. I put on my best foot and I did some things I didn't think I could do. It was one of my best workouts. I knew I left Jacksonville with a great feeling.

"I knew if I was there in the second round there was no way they could pass on me. I put on a show."

Caldwell said if Jack had remained at UCLA he would have been cleared for spring practice, and Jack said Friday he would be ready for rookie minicamp next weekend.

"The bottom line is I'm ready to go," he said. "I'm 100 percent healthy. I'm clear. The knee shouldn't be a concern anymore. There's nothing else to talk about. I'm ready to play ball."

Jack called the pre-draft media reports regarding his knee, his future and his draft stock "frustrating."

"It's impossible to fight the media," Jack said. "But after my workout with the Jags, I knew leaving that day that there was no way they thought anything was wrong with me. I knew I was good to go. Somebody had to believe me and I just had a feeling it was Jacksonville."

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