The pick was made by then-general manager Mike Maccagnan, who was fired in May after leading the team during the draft and free agency. Joe Douglas took over the GM role in June and clearly felt differently about the edge-rusher.
The regime change could play a role in much of the roster construction:
Still, this was a significant surprise considering how early Polite was picked. Per Rich Cimini of ESPN, it marked the first time the Jets cut a rookie drafted in the first three rounds before the season since 1986 (offensive tackle Doug Williams).
Polite had a lot of fans after a productive college career at Florida. He tallied 11 sacks in 2018 to go with 19.5 tackles for loss and an NCAA-best six forced fumbles.
Bleacher Report's Matt Miller listed him as the No. 8 edge-rusher in the class.
But he struggled throughout the preseason, even against opposing backups. Matt Stypulkoski of NJ Advance Media gave Polite an "F" on his rookie report card.
Another team could take a chance on the high-upside 21-year-old, but the Jets didn't see enough over the past four months to keep him.