With their first pick of Friday’s NFL Draft proceedings, the New York Jets selected Jachai Polite, a linebacker from Florida.
The New York Jets selected Florida linebacker Jachai Polite with the 68th pick of the 2019 NFL Draft. It was the Jets’ first pick of Friday night’s portion.
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Polite was an underclass entry into the draft, departing Florida after three seasons. His final season featured First-Team All-SEC honors as he tallied 20 tackles for a loss (second in the conference), 11 sacks (third in the conference), and six forced fumbles (topping the nation).
Polite’s stock had dropped a bit after a tough pre-draft process. Already beleaguered by a bad showing at the Combine, he failed to atone for it at his pro day in Gainesville. Nonetheless, scouts have praised his pursuit abilities, especially his propensity to break into the backfield.
“There is a lot to like about Polite as a player, including his excellent tape from 2018 which showed him to be a dynamite quarterback hunter,” Charlie Campbell of Walter Football wrote. “Polite is a dangerous pass-rusher who shows good instincts and natural feel on the edge. He has good play recognition and uses his instincts to get in the right position to affect the quarterback or disrupt plays. As an edge defender, Polite has huge potential. He has the skill set to be an annual double-digit sack producer in the NFL if he commits himself to working hard and being the best he can be.”
Polite joins a defense led by fellow SEC alumni Jamal Adams (LSU) and Marcus Maye (Florida).
Polite’s selection was announced by former center Nick Mangold.
The Jets’ next pick will come at 93rd overall. They forfeited their second-round choice last season, trading it to Indianapolis in their move up to the third overall pick.