The New Orleans Saints have been taking a closer look at the new breed of linebacker available in the 2016 draft.
Myles Jack, a projected top-10 pick who is widely rated as the best available linebacker in the draft, revealed on Sirius XM Monday that he’s already worked out privately for New Orleans.
A freak athlete who also played running back at times for UCLA, Jack is coming off of a torn lateral meniscus that ended his 2015 season, but he expects to be fully healthy in 2016.
In his first two full seasons at UCLA, Jack averaged 82.5 tackles and 7.5 tackles-for-loss as the Bruins’ weak-side linebacker, and he added four interceptions. UCLA, taking advantage of Jack’s coverage skills, often lined him up man-to-man against slot receivers.
But Jack isn’t the only speedy linebacker the Saints have checked out a little closer. LSU linebacker Deion Jones, who was measured at 4.39 seconds in the 40-yard dash at LSU’s Pro Day, has also visited New Orleans, a source confirmed to The Advocate.
Jones, whose stock has been on the rise since an impressive week at the Senior Bowl, has either visited or worked out for more than 10 teams already in this draft cycle.
Both Jack and Jones could be the type of coverage linebacker the Saints sorely lacked at the weak-side position last year when Dannell Ellerbe was battling injury. New Orleans allowed the most receiving yardage in the league to both tight ends and running backs, as quarterbacks racked up yardage by throwing short and working the middle of the field.
Saints’ 2016 NFL Draft Trail
Ryan Brown, DE, Mississippi State (Houston Chronicle)
Jared Goff, QB, Cal (NFL Network)
Su’a Cravens, OLB/SS, USC
Cyrus Jones, CB, Alabama (Houston Chronicle)
Deion Jones, LB, LSU
Jordan Jenkins, DE/OLB, Georgia
Jayron Kearse, S, Clemson
Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama (WWL)
Noah Spence, DE, Eastern Kentucky
Nate Sudfeld, QB, Indiana (NFL Network)
Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State (NFL Network)
Steven Daniels, LB, Boston College
Tyler Ervin, RB, San Jose State
Myles Jack, LB, UCLA
Yannick Ngakoue, DE, Maryland (Houston Chronicle)
Rees Odhiambo, G, Boise State
Justin Simmons, S, Boston College
Kenny Lawler, WR, Cal
Darius Powe, WR, Cal
Stephen Anderson, TE, Cal
Tyler Higbee, TE, Western Kentucky