The New York Jets need pass-rushing help, but while rookie Jachai Polite is promising, coaches know he has a long way to go.
When the New York Jets lost out on free agent linebacker Anthony Barr, it made it even more imperative for them to land a pass-rushing edge prospect in the 2019 NFL draft.
They did just that early in the third round, grabbing Florida’s Jachai Polite.
While many are already excited about Polite’s potential thanks to his impressive college tape, Jets outside linebackers coach Joe Vitt knows the jury is still out until the pads get popping during training camp and game action (via team reporter Ethan Greenberg):
Well listen, he’s been running around in his pajamas now for [a few] weeks, so it’s too soon to tell. I mean, he’s got a long way to go. But he’s got size, he’s got a good attitude. But he’s got to go through a training camp, and obviously the pads are going to define him when we put them on.
After the college football season ended, many expected Polite to garner first-round consideration in this year’s draft. But after struggling through the predraft process with poor workout times, odd interviews and a hamstring injury, Polite tumbled on draft weekend.
His loss could eventually be the Jets’ gain if he’s able to have the kind of impact on Sundays that he’s had on Saturdays in Gainesville over the past few years. But while there’s plenty for Jets fans to get hyped about with this new rookie, it’s best to temper expectations until the real games begin.