Jachai Polite Declares for 2019 NFL Draft; Will Skip Senior Season at Florida

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistDecember 31, 2018

NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 13:  Jachai Polite #99 of the Florida Gators plays against the Vanderbilt Commodores at Vanderbilt Stadium on October 13, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

Defensive lineman Jachai Polite announced Monday that he will forgo his senior season at the University of Florida and enter the 2019 NFL draft.

Polite made it official with the following tweet:

Jachai Polite. @RetireMoms

F O R E V E R P O L I T E ! 🐊✌🏿 https://t.co/vM8LApq9bD

The Daytona Beach, Florida, native had a career year as a junior in 2018 with 45 tackles, 19.5 tackles for loss and 11.0 sacks.

Polite played somewhat sparingly during his freshman and sophomore years, with just 33 tackles and four sacks in those campaigns combined.

He appeared in all 13 of the Gators' games in 2018 and was a key part of a talented defense that allowed just 20 points per game.

PFF College gave Polite some strong grades for his performance during the 2018 season:

PFF College @PFF_College

What a season it was for Jachai Polite! https://t.co/45mU9Zn2fF

Polite wasn't on the draft radar entering his junior season, but now he has the makings of a potential first-round pick.

The 6'2", 260-pound pass-rusher was ranked as the No. 17 overall player and the No. 4 edge-rusher in the 2019 draft class by Bleacher Report's Matt Miller on his latest big board.

Miller put Polite behind only Ohio State's Nick Bosa, Kentucky's Josh Allen and Florida State's Brian Burns among edge players.

Also, in his most recent mock draft, Miller projected that the Green Bay Packers will select Polite with the No. 12 overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft.

The upcoming draft appears to be stacked with front-seven talent, and Polite has a chance to be one of the first players to come off the board at those positions.