The 2019 NFL Draft will be a great event for teams to start building for their future. The Game Haus will be doing scouting reports on some of the top prospects in the 2019 NFL Draft. Florida defensive end Jachai Polite has leveraged a great year of play at Florida into what could make him an early selection in the 2019 NFL Draft.
2018 stats: 45 total tackles, 19.5 tackles for loss, 11 sacks, four passes defended, six forced fumbles
Size: 6-foot-3, 258 pounds
For most of his college career, Jachai Polite was relatively unkown. He had limited playing time in his first two seasons, but got an opportunity to play in 2018 and performed so well that he is now considered to be an early round draft pick.
In his time in Florida, he has 78 total tackles, 28.5 tackles for loss, 15 sacks, four passes defended and eight forced fumbles. He was a backup for his first two seasons at Florida, but got playing time in 2018 and became a star. Polite is a streaky pass rusher with two or more sacks in three games, but also five games without a sack in the 2018 season. His six forced fumbles led the country in 2018, which showed his ability to make plays.
Polite is a one-year wonder in college, but has still made himself into a solid draft-eligible prospect. He likely will be selected within the first two rounds of the 2019 NFL Draft.
Polite has a great first step at the snap of the ball. His quickness and agility help him get a great start to the play. He is one of the fastest players off the ball in this draft class and offensive linemen often times can’t catch up to him after his quick first step.
One thing that complements his quickness well is his flexibility and bend. After getting the quick first step, he has the flexibility and bend to get around the edge. Offensive linemen can get their hands on him, but with his good leverage on the outside, he can beat them and get to the quarterback.
He has good awareness and football IQ which helps him stay in position. He won’t always make the play, especially against the run, but he will maintain gap integrity and do his job. With some added time on the field, Polite should be able to improve even more in this area.
The primary concern for Polite will be his height and length. Offensive linemen can keep him at bay if they get their hands on him because he doesn’t have the strength or weight to get past them. He’ll have to add strength and find ways to get around not having the best length for an edge rusher.
With his strength and length not being up to par, Polite will have trouble shedding NFL blocks. This particularly will hurt him against the run. Even if he has good gap integrity, if he can’t shed his block and make the play, he will be a liability on the field for first and second down.
While he was very productive in 2018, it was the only big year of production for Polite. He will need to find a way to stay consistent, not just throughout the years, but from game to game in the NFL. There where games where he had monster performances, but also games where he disappeared.
Projected Draft Range: First round-Second round