5. EDGE Jachai Polite
What if I told you there was a time that Jachai Polite was viewed as a first-round prospect. And not only was he a first-round talent, he had been mocked to the Redskins by a handful of analysts.
Yes, Polite was considered to be a potential high-quality pass rusher at the NFL level. In a class of very good pass rushers, Polite could’ve been a top-20 pick. However, a miserable performance at the NFL Combine and some off-the-field concerns caused him to fall. And as a result, he was selected in the third round by the New York Jets.
It seemed that the Jets were getting a solid value by selecting Polite at that juncture. However, Polite was released by the team during final roster cuts. That is very rare for a third-round pick to be cut before his first season. Usually, a fourth-round selection will be among the highest drafted players that get cut.
It’s unclear exactly why the Jets parted with Polite. But one explanation is that he was selected by the previous general manager, Mike Maccagnan. Joe Douglas took over the Jets after the draft and evidently, he wasn’t as impressed by Polite’s skill set as the Maccagnan regime was.
Polite does come with some baggage, but the Redskins could use some extra depth on the edge. He has the talent needed to be a potent pass rusher and if he can develop along with Montez Sweat, the Redskins would have a couple of really good young pass rushers to serve as building blocks for their defense.
For that reason, Redskins should consider claiming Polite to give him a chance to develop as a fifth edge rusher. The only thing that could scare the ‘Skins off is the character concerns.
If Polite’s issues scare off the Redskins, perhaps they could consider a guy like Shane Ray instead.