The Dallas Cowboys can’t have enough edge rushers, and the opportunity to select Florida defensive end Jachai Polite might be too much to pass up.
The Dallas Cowboys like to look for value in the NFL Draft. Owner Jerry Jones has always had the reputation for being a gambler who’s not afraid to take a shot on a player with huge upside so long as the risk is manageable.
Meet Florida defensive end Jachai Polite.
If you’re aware of this player, I’ll just say this: Hear me out.
If not, I’ll offer this idea with the following disclaimer and then you decide if this player is worth the risk.
If not for a disastrous Scouting Combine showing in February, we’re probably talking about Jachai Polite being selected way before the Dallas Cowboys go on the clock on the second day of the 2019 NFL Draft next weekend in Nashville, Tennessee. His workout numbers were nothing to write home about and his interviews were said to be awful.
Again, this is not a campaign to select Polite with the 58th selection in Round 2 – the Cowboys need a player who can contribute as a rookie, if not start somewhere. Defensive end is not that place.
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But what do the Dallas Cowboys have after that?
Long before we start yammering on about drafting safeties early on, which seems to happen every year Jeff Heath remains on the team, Dallas needs to be bolstering the defensive line. This means defensive tackles and edge rushers, period.
Between Randy Gregory and Taco Charlton, I can’t say which player will have fewer sacks this coming season. Charlton could still turn things around in year three in the NFL, but Polite has more upside than the former Michigan Wolverine.
Gregory might not even play due to more off-the-field issues that seem related to the former Nebraska Cornhusker’s substance abuse problems, which are well documented.
Dorance Armstrong is entering his second year, and he’s unlikely to unseat Quinn on the right side of the defense. Obviously Lawrence’s job is about as secure as it gets.
The Dallas Cowboys have two legitimate starters for the short-term at defensive end, and that’s provided everybody stays healthy.
Lawrence entered the NFL weighing in at about 250 pounds. According to the official Dallas Cowboys website, this fifth-year veteran now checks in at 265 pounds, which goes perfectly with his height of 6-3. Lawrence has a near-perfect blend of strength, speed and height to his game which now goes with several years in the league.
Polite already weighs 258 pounds, which means that within 18 months he could be playing at close to 270 while also standing 6-3. Polite doesn’t quite have the length Lawrence has, but I’m not sure he’s not quicker off the snap and this is a quality that always translates well to the NFL. His technique will need work, which is a given.
But Jachai Polite could fall in the coming draft – I wouldn’t rule out a slide into the third round, or further.
Yes, Polite comes with some serious concerns, which include his willingness to be coached and certainly his maturity. But that video above has got to make you salivate just a little. The explosion is pretty strong, he can go inside and out and remember he’s going to get bigger – but only if he grows up well enough to forge a career in pro football.
No, Polite is no Lawrence, but he’s got the skill set to be a very similar player one day.
Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli hasn’t forged one of the great careers in the NFL as a defensive assistant by working with choir boys.
- Published on 04/20/2019 at 12:00 PM
- Last updated at 04/20/2019 at 09:50 AM