First Step Quickness –Woah. When get off is correct and he doesn't false step, this is superb burst. All the more impressive is secondary acceleration through the corner. Plays at a high rate of speed and nothing is done without twitch or burst. Blue chip quality.
Hand Technique/Length – Placement is effective, particularly on stabs and counter strikes. His power, however, isn't present if he's caught by the numbers. Like his urgency with his hands, affords him success to prevent a first blow from landing on his body.
Pass Rush Counters – Primarily a speed rusher but isn't without secondary counters. Effective work back inside with shallow swim. Surface reduction on inside shoulder does well to force whiffed punches. Flashes an inside spin move as well.
Flexibility – Body control is very strong. Has little issue with leverage as a pass rusher or lateral tilt to carry his speed to optimal velocity. Lower body flexion through the ankles allows hard pivots and tight turns. Works hips across blockers with ease from wide angles.
Run Defending – Can get enveloped and swallowed up at the POA. Struggles in tight quarters to set the edge and keep himself square to the LOS. His effort and scrappiness come in useful to prevent him from getting blown away but generally once squared up, he's eliminated.
Competitive Toughness – Functional strength isn't necessarily where he's going to hang his hat. Can get clamped down and pinned and struggles with upper body strength to press himself clear. Effort level as a rusher is tremendous, however. A lot of second effort plays working back to target.
Tackling – Hunts the football. Love how he gets after ball in quarterback's hand coming around the back side. Tackle radius is effective, not necessarily thanks to length but to body bend, short area quickness and acceleration into the tackle.
Lateral Mobility – Has plenty of range. When he's given a step, he can work over the top of blockers working outside the numbers and get into appropriate challenging position. Very sudden with his flash across the face to duck inside.
Stand Up Ability – Has been tasked with two and three point stances, shows ample get-off out of either. Stunt plays and acceleration to work back across protection fronts can yield some pressure but isn't likely to be caught down a lot of pass coverage.
Football IQ – Pretty cerebral rusher, doesn't get boxed in and married to a single counter. Has some technical areas to work on, including a false step getting out of his stance that could allow him to be even more dynamic. Shows great instincts to navigate his rush track and the QB.
PROSPECT COMPARISON – Takk McKinley
BEST TRAIT – First Step Explosiveness
WORST TRAIT – Run Defending
BEST FILM – Florida State (2018)
WORST FILM – Kentucky (2018)
RED FLAGS – None
Jachai Polite projects favorably as an impact pass rusher at the NFL level. Polite has an explosive first step, speed that accelerates through the turn, flexibility and short area suddenness that makes him very difficult to account for off the edge. Polite shines when he's afforded room to stress Tackles, so wider alignments will be favorable to his pro forecast. Polite shows room to grow with better extension skills vs. the run.