One of Biggest Jets Draft Busts Ever Resurfaces in CFL

Jachai Polite Jets

Getty Former New York Jets pass rusher Jachai Polite sitting on the bench during a preseason game.

This time of year is supposed to be happy-go-lucky and overflowing with optimism.

Every team in the NFL is undefeated at 0-0 and everyone believes this is finally their respective years to turn this thing around.

Although for the New York Jets it is also a harsh reminder of some of their brutal swings and misses from years past. That topic reared its’ ugly head as a prominent bust from their past was back in the news.

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One of the Biggest Flubs in NFL History

Rich Cimini of ESPN was first to share the news that former Jets draft pick Jachai Polite resurfaced this week signing with the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL.

Polite originally entered the NFL as the No. 68 overall pick in the third round of the 2019 NFL draft.

The 6-foot-3, 258-pound pass rusher put up some crazy production in his final season and had respectable numbers overall:

  • 15 sacks
  • 28.5 tackles for loss
  • Eight forced fumbles

Despite his lofty draft status and pedigree coming from Florida, the former Gator didn’t even make the final 53-man roster of his rookie season.

That sort of thing rarely happens, in fact, according to Cimini it was the first time that a player was drafted in the first three rounds and got cut before the regular season since 1986.

After bouncing around the league with stints in Seattle and Los Angeles, Polite is now taking his talents north of the border.

An Important Lesson to Keep in Mind

This draft process isn’t simply about who are the best and most talented football players. There are so many other things that go into it.

For example, Polite had a terrible showing at the NFL Combine back in 2019. He showed up overweight in Indianapolis, had terrible interviews with teams, and had a bad overall workout.

All of those should’ve been clear and obvious red flags to every NFL team to avoid this guy like the plague in the draft, but apparently, the Jets didn’t get the memo.

At one point during the draft process, Polite was widely considered a first-round draft choice but his stock plummeted due to a series of unfortunate events.

On top of the weight and poor performance issues he openly told the media that teams “bashed” him in private interviews which clearly ruffled his feathers.

Two different scouts told ESPN post-draft that there were serious questions about his “work ethic” and “commitment to football.”

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. With the Jets firmly in the NFL combine mix and getting ready to make several big-time investments in the draft, it’ll be paramount to learn from their mistakes of the past.

Polite was one of the worst busts in Jets draft history, but they don’t have to let his sacrifice happen in vain. If they can use his failed story as a constant reminder of their draft philosophies then at least there can be some level of silver lining in what amounted to be a very crappy situation.

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