Most people hope their college teammates and good friends go high in the draft. That’s where there is more money and more prestige. For the Giants’ Owa Odighizuwa, though, he’d like nothing better than to see his old UCLA teammate Myles Jack slide in the first round. Right to about the 10th pick.
The only reason that would happen is because teams are wary of Jack’s medical reports. He may need major surgery on his knee at some point, and it could limit the longevity of his career. It’s a gamble not every team is willing to take, even if it means getting one of the top three talents in the draft with a top-10 pick.
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“I personally hope they’re afraid of the knee so we can get him,” Odighizuwa said of other teams’ hesitations.Big BoardNewsday's Big Board: Top 100 NFL draft prospectsStoryBob Glauber’s NFL mock draftNFL mock draftNFL mock draft 1.3: The first 30 picks
It’s unclear what the Giants think, exactly, about Jack and his knee and whether they would snap him up if he is there for them at 10. Odighizuwa thinks they should.
“From watching him play for three years, he’s every bit of the athlete that people think he is,” Odighizuwa said on Wednesday after participating in the second day of Giants minicamp. “He’s a phenomenal player. He was so much fun to watch when I was a player.”
Odighizuwa recalled the first time he saw Jack on the field. He was redshirting and on an exercise bike on the sideline and Jack was a true freshman in his first workouts for the Bruins.
“I don’t know him from anybody,” he said, “but once they started doing the 7-on-7 drills, I saw him start covering and changing directions and somersaulting and batting passes and I’m like, ‘Who the heck is this kid from Washington? Dude, he’s a freak!’ He was so fluid, running around changing directions quicker than anybody. Just phenomenal.”
Scouts expect a healthy Jack to be able to cover linebackers and fly around the field from sideline to sideline making plays.
“His coverage skills are outstanding,” Odighizuwa said. “He lets a defensive lineman just shut everything off back there and you can just get after the quarterback.”
Like most people who have watched Jack in college, Odighizuwa wasn’t only impressed by Jack’s considerable defensive skills. He also played running back for UCLA.
“We put our guys on defense thinking they may get four yards or a first down, but you give Myles Jack the ball and he breaks loose and outruns everybody,” he said. “I couldn’t believe what I was watching. It was just the “Myles Jack Show” after that. Every time he steps on the field you want to see what he does.”
And there is a chance he could be stepping on the same field as Odighizuwa this season. For that to happen, though, other teams would have to pass on him. Odighizuwa will be watching Thursday night for that possibility.
“When he’s not picked by seven, then I’ll be like, fingers crossed,” he said. “If we get him here, I’ll be excited.”