The 2019 NFL Draft features a rare bounty of pass rushers with talent coming in all shapes and sizes.
That includes Polite, who struggled with his weight early on at Florida before committing to his craft as a junior. That's when he enjoyed a breakout campaign as one of the nation's most feared edge rushers, exploding for 45 tackles, including 19.5 tackles for loss, 11 sacks and leading all FBS defenders with six forced fumbles.
Coaches saw Polite's potential immediately, plugging the then-270 pounder in all over the line as a true freshman. He flashed at defensive tackle, registering 3.5 tackles for loss and 2.0 sacks among his 11 total stops prior to again teasing coaches with his upside as a sophomore with 22 tackles, including 5.5 for loss and 5.5 sacks before sustaining a season-ending shoulder injury against Georgia.
Energizer bunny off the edge and in pursuit. While shorter than ideal (6-2), Polite possesses a compact, powerful frame, making him tougher to move at the point of attack than he appears. A twitched-up edge rusher who times the snap beautifully, Polite is often so fast off the ball that tackles are left scrambling to recover and playing on their heels, leaving them off-balance and unable to handle his counters and even bull rushes.
He's elusive in tight quarters, showing quickness, balance and spatial awareness to get skinny through gaps. His short, choppy steps keep him balanced through contact and help him accelerate smoothly, topping out with above average straight-line speed for an edge rusher and an uncommon late burst.
Terrific timing and hand-eye coordination to slap at the ball as he's being blocked. Physical, wrap-up tackler who never backs down from competition. Polite wasn't often used in coverage but shows the change of direction and awareness to handle these duties, if needed.
Polite showed a greater commitment to conditioning in 2018. Some wonder if this will continue once he gets an NFL contract.
Projection: Second Round
--Field Level Media