NAME: Jachai Polite
POSITION: EDGE Defender
RECRUITMENT RATING: 3-star
WT: 240 lbs
Ball Get Off/Arc Speed: Possesses arguably the most explosive first step in the class. Which translates to potent arc speed. Can get around the edge in a hurry, giving little time for tackles to get to their set points. Also takes long strides that allow him to gain even more depth to the pocket. Isn’t overly powerful, but shows flashes of translating his speed to power when long arming.
Run Defense: Size is concerning in regards to this part of his game. Will get over whelmed at times by stronger opponents. Can be some what of a liability at the point of attack because he doesn’t seem to have the anchor to hold his spot of contain. Yet, uses optimal hand placement to set the edge, and makes a consistent effort to maintain outside leverage. Also does an excellent job of crashing down on pulling lineman when teams leave him unblocked. Might not specialize in defending the run, but plays hard regardless when doing so.
Motor: Motor is always hot and plays extremely fast. Impressive pursuit ability, especially when spying Quarterbacks.
Bend: Possesses more than enough flexibility to consistently bend the edge when he wins with speed. However, has a harder time bending through opponents because he lacks optimal girth to stay stabilized on his path. Too many times where he is pushed around the arc when trying to cut through tight angles. With that being said, could improve at this area of his game if learns to uses his hands and body positioning to soften angles. Shows flashes of lethal long arm moves, but doesn’t deploy them enough.
Pass Rush Ability: Wouldn’t consider him a one trick pony, but main move is to corner with speed. Yet, is excellent at attacking tackles according to the their sets. Shows no hesitation to counter inside with spin moves or stutter steps if his opponent cheats to one direction. Ability to jab step at full speed is potent as well. Mindful of keeping his chest clean through body positioning and hand usage. But is basically neutralized when he allows his adversaries to get their hands on his chest plate. Offers little as a power rusher. So will have to get stronger in order to improve in this part of his game. Uses hands pretty well (clubs, rips, chops, etc.) but still room to get better.
Lateral Range/Change of Direction: Natural athleticism allows him to change directions with easy. Is almost impossible to option against because he has enough range to blow up the play. Can also redirect his path at full speed, making it that much harder for opponents to evade him in the open field. Shown to be effective as a QB spy against mobile Quarterbacks as well. Has no problems mirroring and matching their movements.
Awareness: Understands basic blocking schemes and how to defend them. Like mentioned before, squeezes down when he is unblocked and strives to maintain outside leverage when setting the edge. Occasionally over pursues his point of contain, giving ball carriers a wide open lane to run through. Would also like to see him be quicker to identify run or pass.
Best Trait: Ball Get Off
Worst Trait: Size/Run Defense
Best Film: LSU (2018)
Worst Film: Georgia (2018)
Jachai Polite has all of the tools to be an excellent speed rusher at next level. He might not thrive against the run, but plays hard and makes enough splash plays to still be a contributor. The question is, will the NFL view him as an every down player? If he gets up at least 250 lbs, he could really help his chances of becoming a full time starter. But even if he is characterized as solely a pass rush specialist/rotational piece in the pros. His ability to rush the passer should still make him a productive player. To maximize his skill set, he would be best as an Outside Linebacker in a odd front.
- Ledyard, Jon. “2019 NFL Draft Player Profile: Jachai Polite.” The Draft Network, 4 Jan. 2019, thedraftnetwork.com/2019/01/04/2019-nfl-draft-player-profile-jachai-polite/.