Jachai Polite NFL Draft 2019: Scouting Report for New York Jets' Pick

Matt Miller@nfldraftscoutNFL Draft Lead WriterApril 27, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, FL - NOVEMBER 24: Defensive End Jachai Polite #99 of the Florida Gators during the game against the Florida State Seminoles at Doak Campbell Stadium on Bobby Bowden Field on November 24, 2018 in Tallahassee, Florida. The #11 Ranked Florida Gators defeated the Florida State Seminoles 41 to 14. (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)
Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

STRENGTHS

—Complete outside linebacker prospect with excellent production off the edge as a pass-rusher and run defender.

—Dominated in 2018 with 11 sacks and showed a natural first step with closing speed, quickness and the flexibility to bend at the edge.

—Has the open-field speed to easily catch up to quarterbacks and running backs in the backfield.

—Knee-bender with springy movement skills and exceptional ability to convert to speed and stun blockers or ball-carriers.

—Uses what length he has (32⅝" arms) very well and will club or long-arm blockers to set up countermoves; runs through his pass-rush plan with active feet.

—Plays with an alpha mentality and doesn't hesitate at the point of attack.

         

WEAKNESSES

—Struggled at the NFL combine with bad interviews and poor workouts that didn't get better at Florida's pro day.

—Scouts were already concerned about maturity and football character before his bad predraft process; had hamstring issues throughout the combine and his pro day that many scouts don't believe were legitimate.

—Was not prepared for the predraft cycle from a physical standpoint and looked to have put on bad weight with a soft physique after needing to add good, positive weight.

—Doesn't attack contact at the line of scrimmage.

—Sloppy tackler who doesn't always get ball-carriers down at first contact.

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OVERALL

Jachai Polite had legitimate top-20 talent coming out of the 2018 season, but his poor showing at the NFL combine and his pro day should have scouts concerned. Did he get bad advice from a trainer or representative, or did he just shrug off the entire process? Finding out that answer could determine when and where Polite is drafted. If a team believes it can get the player we saw at Florida in 2018, he could still be an early selection with future starting potential.

          

GRADE: 6.80 (ROUND 2—ROOKIE IMPACT)

PRO COMPARISON: Harold Landry

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