LOS ANGELES: The NFL dream was still alive on Friday (Saturday in Manila) for linebackers Jaylon Smith and Myles Jack, who were selected on the second day of the draft despite concerns over knee injuries that disrupted their college football careers.
Smith was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys with the 34th overall selection, a higher spot than many expected because of the major knee injury he suffered playing for Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl on January 1.
University of California at Los Angeles linebacker Myles Jack’s agonizing wait ended when the Jacksonville Jaguars added to their offseason overhaul on defense by drafting 36th overall.
Jack, ranked one of the five best players in the draft by NFLDraftScout.com, missed most of last season at UCLA after undergoing knee surgery.
He learned during medical evaluations with NFL doctors that degeneration in the joint could mean he’d need microfracture knee surgery.
“I would understand if I fell,” Jack said, although he was so dejected at not going in the first round that he had departed draft headquarters in Chicago before the second round began on Friday.
Friday’s second round opened with the Cleveland Browns drafting Emmanuel Ogbah of Oklahoma State and the Tennessee Titans picking Clemson’s Kevin Dodd before the Cowboys sprung a surprise with their gamble on Smith.
Smith tore his anterior cruciate ligament and lateral collateral ligament against Ohio State, a dark cloud on an otherwise standout third-year season.