JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Over the next 20 days, News4Jax will count down the 20 most important figures to the Jaguars' success in the 2019 season.
The picture attached to this article shows Telvin Smith in the background cheering on Myles Jack. The two formed one of the most athletic linebacker duos in the NFL. With Smith choosing not to play this season, Jack enters 2019 as the Jaguars only proven linebacker.
Position: Middle linebacker
2018 Stats: 107 tackles, 2.5 sacks, forced fumble, fumble recovered, INT
2019 Projection: In the 2016 draft, the Jaguars selected Jalen Ramsey, Myles Jack and Yannick Ngakoue with their top three picks. All three players have performed well enough that huge pay days are in their future. It’s a good problem that most front offices would like to have.
Jack’s contract status hasn’t gotten the same attention as Ramsey’s or Ngakoue’s. Going into the 2019 season Jack is more valuable to the Jaguars than anybody else on their defense. The Jaguars have question marks at both strong-side and weak-side linebacker. This team can’t afford for Jack to miss any time.
This will also be Jack’s second full season at middle linebacker. If he plays at a high-level the Jaguars will have to make some tough financial decisions. Can they afford to pay Jack, Ramsey and Ngakoue?
Jack is set to make $1.3 million in the final year of his rookie deal. The former UCLA star will be a unrestricted free agent in 2020.
Jaguars defensive coordinator Todd Wash on Myles Jack embracing a larger leadership role: “I think he enjoys it. He’s the MIKE linebacker. He’s got to be the leader. He’s definitely stepped that up within the linebacker room. It’s going to be interesting to see just how well he continues to improve. He’s another guy, it’s taken a little bit of time for him to excel in the run game. He’s always been excellent in the pass game, but you see him really starting to figure it out more than he has in the past. I like where Myles is at.”