LB Myles Jack has thrived despite Jacksonville Jaguars defensive struggles

LB Myles Jack #44 of the Jacksonville Jaguars. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
LB Myles Jack #44 of the Jacksonville Jaguars. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) /

The Jacksonville Jaguars signed the right player in retrospect.

Back in 2019, the Jacksonville Jaguars signed linebacker Myles Jack to a four-year $57 million extension, and almost right away, you could hear the groans from the fanbase at TIAA Bank Field. ‘Why him? Where are the deals for defensive end Yannick Ngakoue and cornerback Jalen Ramsey?’

Those contracts never came and in fact, we saw the ‘Jags’ part ways with both Ngakoue and Ramsey. At the time, Jack had admittedly not played in the same stratosphere as Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner or the New York Jets’ prized free-agent acquisition, C.J. Mosley, who got a massive five-year $85 million deal last year. Jack was struggling with taking over the reigns as the Jaguars’ middle linebacker and his signing was puzzling at the very least.

However, fast-forward and we are now in November 2020 and Jack is no longer the middle linebacker thanks to the team signing Joe Schobert in the offseason. The move has paid off and the former Bruins linebacker has returned to his more natural position, the weak-side linebacker spot.

The Jacksonville Jaguars’ are ‘Jacking’ their defense up.

We’ll admit it. That headline was cringy, but so has the Jags defense for this entire season. At one point this season, the defense gave up 30 points in six straight games. However, Jack has been a steadfast beast all season in spite of the team’s defensive shortcomings.

If we were handing out midseason awards Jack would come in first, second, and third place for defensive MVP. Rookie defensive tackle DaVon Hamilton or C.J. Henderson would be a distant fourth, but no one has come close to playing as well as he has.

In just seven games the fourth-year linebacker has amassed 60 total tackles (35 solo), a sack, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, an interception, and three pass deflections.

He shows up on nearly every play. If he’s not making it he’s right there to help clean it up. At the weak side position, Jack is free to play with his ears back and his hair on fire. His speed and sideline-to-sideline athleticism is evident and he is having a whale of a time making plays.

Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Myles Jack by the numbers.

Jack has been given an 89.8 Pro Football Focus grade this season, which is just outside of an elite A-level grade according to their metrics. If you’ve ever been to school, you know an 89.8 gets rounded up to an A- if you didn’t have a terrible teacher.

The UCLA standout is averaging 8.6 tackles per game this season, which is right up there with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ linebacker Devin White, the Buffalo Bills’ Jordan Poyer, and the Carolina Panthers’ Shaq Thompson.

Keep in mind Jack has also been named to PFF’s All-Pro second team this week as well. Heading into the offseason, the Jags defense has been horrible and have a lot of positions in dire need of an upgrade, weak-side linebacker isn’t one of them. In 2020 Jack has fully earned his contract and looks to be getting even better as the weeks go on.