Updated Dec. 8, 2018
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.
A few days ago, WalterFootball.com was the first media outlet to report that Florida Gators offensive tackle Jawaan Taylor was being viewed as the top offensive line prospect for the 2019 NFL Draft according to multiple team sources. They said that Taylor had the potential to go early on the first night of the draft if he were to skip his senior year. If Taylor does go pro, he probably will have a teammate joining him in Nashville in Gators edge rusher Jachai Polite.
Multiple NFL team sources have been told that Polite will enter the 2019 NFL Draft. These were the same sources who a year ago told us that Taven Bryan was going to skip his senior year to enter the 2018 NFL Draft. Just like with Bryan last year, I followed up with contacts at the Florida program. Sources with the Gators say everything is pointing toward Polite declaring, and the word inside the Florida locker room is that Polite is definitely entering the 2019 NFL Draft.
Polite has been one of the best pass-rushers in college football this season, showing speed, athleticism, and tenacity off the edge. Entering the bowl game against Michigan, Polite has 11 sacks with 16 tackles for a loss, five forced fumbles, 43 tackles and four passes broken up. He flashed as a rotational player and designated pass-rusher during his underclassman years.
Of course a lot can change leading up to a draft, but entering the draft season, team sources say they believe that Polite will probably be a mid- to late first-round pick. Some team sources say there could be some minor off-the-field questions for Polite, although contacts with the Gators say Polite is a good and well-liked teammate.
Polite and Taylor were key players in turning Florida around in 2018. The Gators went from a team with a losing record to being ranked in the top 10 with a 9-3 regular season in the first year under new head coach Dan Mullen. Both players figure to be in demand in the 2019 NFL Draft.