With the 4th pick in the second round, the 36th overall selection, the Jacksonville Jaguars added UCLA linebacker Myles Jack, an explosive player with a knee that cause him to slide down draft boards. He is a player who, if he has longevity in the NFL, and is able to play like he did in college, could be an exceptional defensive player and an outstanding pick for the Jaguars. He could be exactly what Jacksonville needs to turn a defense into something dominant.
And he could have been a Miami Dolphins player. Well, at least the Dolphins were hoping to make him a part of the South Florida team.
According to a report from the Miami Herald's Armando Salguero, the Dolphins were trying to find a trade partner to move up from the 42nd overall pick to a place where they could select Jack. The trade just never worked out, but it was not for a lack of trying on Miami's part. Salguero writes that a source texted him, "We tried - a lot."
Jack played three years at UCLA, recording 178 tackles with one sack, four interceptions, and 19 passes defensed. He also had 15 tackles of a loss, one forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries. He also served as a running back for the Bruins, primarily as a freshman and sophomore, carrying the ball 68 times, for 387 yards with 11 touchdowns.
If Miami had been able to work out a trade, they could have added one of the top prospects - albeit with medical concerns - to their defense. It was a risk they were willing to take, but not one for which they were willing to overpay. If they had moved to the same spot where Jacksonville picked Jack, the 36th overall position and a spot where the Jaguars traded up to make the selection, it would have been at least a six position jump for the Dolphins, a move that would have cost 270 points according to the Draft Value Chart. That would equate to probably having to send the Baltimore Ravens, the original owners of the pick, Miami's third and fourth round picks.
The Dolphins moved up four spots, from the 42nd pick to the 38th pick, the position initially held by the Jaguars then traded to the Ravens, and it cost them their fourth round pick. They used the 38th spot to add Baylor cornerback Xavien Howard, filling a position of need for Miami.
While Jack would have been an outstanding pick, and may prove himself worthy of the price Jacksonville paid, and even worth the price Miami would have had to pay, he was not as big a need as adding a cornerback was for the Dolphins this offseason. Dolphins fans and analysts probably would have cheered just as much as the Miami front office if they had worked out a deal to land Jack, but in the end, they may be in a better defensive position having added Howard.
Miami did not "settle" for Howard over Jack. They just were not willing to mortgage the rest of their Draft for the UCLA linebacker. They stayed within their "budget" and they got a player who should be a good starter for them, and one who shores up a hole on the roster.
To borrow a metaphor Salguero used, the Dolphins swung for the fences in an attempt to land Jack. They came up short on that swing, but they did connect on the next pitch and likely landed with players in scoring position, just needing to have the coaches come through in developing Howard into a difference maker.