Jachai Polite Scouting Notes | Exploding onto the Scene

Going into the 2018 season the name Jachai Polite was not a well known name, even to some of the most dialed in NFL Draft writers. But nobody can beat themselves up as Polite was stuck behind some veteran players and was dealing with a few nagging injuries that limited him to play in only seven games. But a change to the 3-4 defense, dropping 15 pounds and being healthy have all contributed to Polite breaking out. After watching his tape against Mississippi State that saw him finish with two sacks and plenty of QB hurries/hits it’s time to share what makes Polite so exciting in our Jachai Polite Scouting Notes.

 

Jachai Polite Scouting Notes

 

Explosiveness

The first thing that stands out when you watch Polite on tape is how explosive his movements are. From the snap Polite explodes off the ball and immediately puts pressure on the offensive tackle to be on balance and get their hands on him. Polite has the speed to get to the edge but if he doesn’t his ability to change directions quickly make him very difficult to block. Even when Polite isn’t rushing the passer he uses his acceleration to close fast on the ball and never seems to far away from making a play on the ball.

 

Bend/Flexibility

It is one thing to be a speed rusher, but Polite’s ability to turn the corner is why he has six sacks already this season and isn’t getting pushed past the pocket on a regular basis. A big part of his game is getting to the edge with his explosive burst and then has the ability to bend at the ankle to turn around the corner of tackle getting into the backfield and attack the quarterback. Polite also has shown the ability to sink his hips and bend around offensive tackles which the elite pass rushers have shown. In the Mississippi State game he was able to get low avoiding the punch of the right tackle and then turn around the corner and finish a sack.

 

Power

Normally a player who is 6’2 242lbs isn’t know for their power, but that’s not the case here. Polite generates power from his explosiveness and uses it well to take on blockers in the run game and keep himself free. By making this contact he’s able to keep the tackles from grabbing a hold of him and thus allowing him to be free and attack the ball. In space Polite is able to use his accelration to build up speed and lay some big hits on quarterbacks and running backs.

 

 

Outlook

For as good as Polite was against Mississippi State, his performance against LSU was even better as he was practically unblockable. It is too bad that Florida doesn’t play Alabama this season (baring the Gators winning the SEC West) which would allow us to see Polite match up against #1 offensive tackle Jonah Williams, but their games against Georgia and South Carolina should allow us to see him against some good competition. Now Polite still needs to improve his hand usage and develop a couple of go to pass rushing moves. Polite is quickly rising up the draft rankings (already my third rated edge defender), but he could rise even more. Based on this trajectory it (and if he declares) a top 10 selection seems likely and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him as the second edge pass rusher taken in the 2019 NFL Draft.

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