Rumors abounded the first two nights of the NFL Draft about Jets trades. But general manager Mike Maccagnan said despite talking with "some teams" for the third pick overall, "there was never an offer we felt good enough about" and they were happy to take Quinnen Williams. At the start of action tonight, the Jets were reported to be trying to trade up into the top half of Round 2 but none of these reports panned out.
So the Jets remained with no second-round pick (that having been spent by the Colts on CB Rock Ya-Sin to close the books on last year's tradeup to draft QB Sam Darnold) and sat tight for much of tonight with their two third-round picks.
Finally, the draft came to the Jets, and with their own pick in Round 3 (68th overall), they selected Florida edge rusher Jachai Polite, making it two SEC defensive players in their first two choices after the Green & White grabbed Alabama DL Williams in Round 1.
See the Best Photos of the Former Florida Defensive End
Polite (6'3", 258) led the NCAA in 2018 with six forced fumbles. Despite starting just five of 13 games last year, he had career highs and team-leading totals of 11 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss and was named AP All-America second team. For his three-year career with the Gators he totaled 15 sacks, 28.5 TFLs and eight forced fumbles. He was one of two FBS players last year with 10-plus sacks and five-plus FFs, the other being first-round Kentucky edge rusher Josh Allen.
Polite becomes the fourth Gator on the Jets' current roster, along with S Marcus Maye, C Jonotthan Harrison and CB Brian Poole.
He is also the 10th player drafted by the Jets out of Florida all-time and the third-highest, following DB Steve Tannen (first round, 20th overall, 1970) and Maye (second round, 39th overall, 2017).
Polite also joins DL Leonard Williams as fellow graduates of Mainland HS in Daytona Beach, FL.
The Jets have one more pick in the third round (93rd overall), acquired from New Orleans in last August's trade of QB Teddy Bridgewater.