Polite leaving for NFL draft

Florida defensive end Jachai Polite has 16 tackles for loss, including 11 sacks, to rank third in the SEC in both categories. [Brad McClenny/Staff Photographer]

Florida junior defensive end Jachai Polite announced Monday he’s entering the NFL draft.

“I can’t wait to prove to NFL teams that I can be and will be the best defensive lineman in the NFL,” Polite wrote on his social media account.

Polite tied a school record for forced fumbles in a single season when he recorded his sixth against in the 41-15 win over Michigan in the Peach Bowl on Saturday. He also finished with 11 sacks this season.

“The lessons I have learned in Gainesville will carry with me to the next level, with my goal always being the same,” he wrote.

Polite is the third Florida player to turn pro: Defensive back Chauncey Gardner-Johnson declared for the draft as did Jawaan Taylor.



  1. Polite, Taylor and CGJ will all be sorely missed – all three have contributed greatly to this year’s success at UF. Time for the younger players to step up – big expectations for next year! GO GATORS!!!

  2. Good decision…he should capitalize on the All American year he put up this year. I think Joseph should come back cause he will have an All American type year next year and play himself into the first two rounds. He could also stand to bulk up a bit with another year under Savage. With his wheels and some more bulk, he could have an epic senior season.

  3. @ Jachai Polite – Best wishes young man on all of your future endeavors! I do not believe that you have reached your full potential and that you will get better at the next level. Thanks for the awesome effort that you put forth to play with your fellow Brothers and for all of GATOR NATION. Now get that $$$$$$$$$$$$$$ GO GATORS!!!

  4. Just heard Scarlett and Vosean Joseph have also declared. That makes Polite, Jawaan Taylor, Gardner-Johnson, Scarlett and Joseph leaving early. I think it is a good decision for all but Joseph. He needs to add some weight to be an nfl level linebacker. He may get drafted in the lower rounds but I think he is likely going to have to sign as a free agent. Polite is projected as a first rounder so it was a no brainer for him. Scarlett is a tough runner so I think he will go in the mid rounds. I think Taylor will go in round 2-3. Gardner Johnson is not a corner and is best suited as a nickel back so he will also probable go on rounds 3-4. Who knows. I wish them all well though. At least they all played in the bowl game and did not bail on their team like a lot of other guys.

  5. While I agree that Joseph doesn’t appear to be as NFL ready as some, he did lead our Gators in tackles this year. He will probably impress in workouts and get drafted. May not be as high as if he stayed another year, but I have no idea how his school or family life is. Best of luck to all of them. Thanks for working hard for our entertainment pleasure. Go Gators!!