Florida DL Jachai Polite says teams 'bashed' him during NFL combine interviews

Jachai Polite did not help himself at the NFL scouting combine over the weekend.

Polite, a defensive end out of Florida, was seen by some as a possible first-round pick entering the combine, but that may no longer be in the cards.

Polite, coming off a season where he had 11 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss, was interviewed by a bevy of teams, including the San Francisco 49ers and Green Bay Packers. Things evidently did not go very well.

Polite, when meeting with reporters in Indianapolis, said the 49ers and Packers “bashed” him during the interview process.

When meeting with Packers coaches, Polite said they were trying to “figure out” his character while also asking him about some “bad plays” from his game film.

With the 49ers, he said he was continually asked “why” questions.

"They're not really talking about anything good right now. They want to know all the bad things about you, like character,” Polite said per NBC Sports Bay Area.

Polite said the approach caught him off guard, but he understands the logic behind it.

“That’s their job,” Polite said. “They are trying to get my character out. They are trying to make me feel uncomfortable, see the way I react. So, them bashing me, that’s their job. They are about to invest millions probably, I hope. So, I have to take it, it’s my job. This is my job.”

Florida linebacker Vosean Joseph (11) and defensive lineman Jachai Polite (99) set up for a play at the line of scrimmage during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Missouri Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Florida defensive lineman Jachai Polite (L) put up impressive numbers in 2018, but struggled on and off the field at the NFL scouting combine. (AP Photo)

Polite’s comments will not sit well with NFL teams

Saying that publicly will not sit well with teams, according to Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson.

“The fact that he aired out the 49ers, the Packers. You can’t really say that,” Robinson said. “Those teams don’t want to hear that. That’s what this process is about. Every interview you go in, they’re going to decide what’s wrong with your game and tell you about it to see how you react. The last thing they want to know is that you then left that meeting and said, ‘I didn’t like the meeting because you told me what was wrong with my game.”

On top of that, Yahoo Sports’ Kimberley Martin said that Polite came off “disinterested” during meetings, according to her conversations with team officials.

Polite struggled on the field, too

Polite, considered undersized for his position at under 6-foot-3 and 258 pounds, ran the 40-yard dash in 4.84 seconds, the third-worst time among the edge rushers on hand.

He also posted a 32-inch vertical jump before pulling out of the day’s other drills due to an apparent hamstring injury — an injury some are skeptical about, per Robinson.

From an on-field perspective, Polite will have the chance to rebound at Florida’s pro day if his hamstring is healthy. He’ll presumably have some additional team visits on the horizon as well. How far Polite falls in next month’s draft remains to be seen.

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