Former New York Jets third-round pick Jachai Polite has been released and has been signed by another team. Here are the details and why it’s a sad tale.
They say a lot can change in a span of nine months, no one knows that better than former New York Jets third-round draft selection Jachai Polite.
Nine months ago Polite was coming off of a remarkable three-year career at SEC powerhouse Florida. Jachai got better each collegiate season and blossomed into a double-digit sack artist as a junior (11 sacks).
The talent was undeniable and he was widely considered a first-round talent with the potential to be a dominant edge player in the pros.
In February he participated in the annual NFL Scouting Combine which is a unique platform that allows draft-eligible players to strut their stuff, show their skills, and speak with the 32 NFL teams behind closed doors about a variety of topics.
That experience probably ranked as one of the worst job interviews in the history of mankind for Jachai.
Not only did Polite test poorly with a 4.84 40-yard dash but he also came off as a super immature player who couldn’t handle criticism. Something that will be incredibly prevalent in the pros.
#Florida EDGE Jachai Polite said that when he met with the 49ers at the Combine, they didn’t even really talk football with him at all. “They just bashed me the whole time… Idk.”
— Trevor Sikkema (@TampaBayTre) March 2, 2019
— Zach Heilprin (@ZachHeilprin) March 3, 2019
Jachai Polite said Rams were his best meeting “bc they didn’t bash me. Everybody else picking at my game”
— Jon Ledyard (@LedyardNFLDraft) March 2, 2019
So obviously there was a lot of red flags that should’ve made any NFL team pause when considering if they should draft this kid.
Despite those red flags, the New York Jets were heralded as a genius for ‘stealing’ Polite in the third round.
Fast forward to cut day and the Jets made an unprecedented move by releasing their third-round selection before his rookie season could ever really begin.
The first three rounds of the draft are considered premium selections. These players are expected to be immediate contributors or key role players for the future. How badly did you have to play to not crack a 53 man roster that lacks depth at the very position you play?
Once the Jets cut him, Jachai went unclaimed through waivers. Shortly after the Seattle Seahawks added him to their practice squad. Despite getting what Seahawks coaches a ‘clean slate’ he again blew another opportunity and was released.
Although the moral of this story is always the same: if you’re talented enough, you’ll continue to get chances.
That was re-affirmed on Wednesday when the LA Rams became the latest team to bring in Polite. ESPN’s Field Yates revealed that he signed onto their practice squad.
The analytics speak for themselves, only a small percentage of high school football players get a shot in college. An even smaller percentile gets a look from NFL clubs. Too often these talented few blow their opportunity to stop the vicious cycle and realize their potential. Polite seems like another case study of what NOT TO DO.