In the build up to the 2019 NFL Draft, Jachai Polite was a polarizing figure who performed horribly at the combine and pre-draft workouts after leaving the University of Florida early for the draft and after being mocked as high as third overall, fell all the way to the third round. Perhaps even more surprisingly, between whatever the issues that caused him to fall in the draft, the discord in the front office of the New York Jets and the change in control over the roster between April and now, Polite was waived on Saturday.
In spite of having been a Day 2 selection, and in spite of his 11 sack, 19.5 tackles for loss season in 2018, Polite went unclaimed on waivers, and reports are that he will now be added to the Seahawks practice squad.
This is a significant move for the Hawks because even though the team is set to have Ziggy Ansah and Jadeveon Clowney going after quarterbacks in 2019, both players are on one year contracts. That means that if the Seahawks do not extend either player they could be in a position where come next offseason they find themselves in the exact same position they were in this year in regardings to a lack of pass rush.
Thus, adding Polite to the practice squad, with Ansah and Clowney able to buy time for both Polite and L.J. Collier to develop and learn the game, the team may be better set in regards to going after the passer in 2020. In addition, if Ansah’s surgically repaired shoulder does not hold up to the beating of playing defensive end in the NFL over the course of the 2019 season, Polite could potentially compete with players like Rasheem Green and Branden Jackson for playing time on the defensive line.
It’s yet another quality move for Pete Carroll and John Schneider in a weekend that has been filled with more excitement than most Seahawks fans would dare to dream.
For those who have asked how it is that a player can go from a third round pick in April to clearing waivers after being cut just four months later, here’s some insight from ProFootballTalk.