Jachai Polite, EDGE, Florida
Far and away the Packers’ biggest need this offseason is at edge rusher. Yes, the team’s total number of sacks in 2018 doesn’t look too bad on paper, but this defense hasn’t been getting enough production from its edge rushers.
Kyler Fackrell impressed with 10.5 sacks on the season, but six of those came in two games, and it’s no guarantee he’ll match that production again in 2019. Clay Matthews is a free agent this offseason, Nick Perry has struggled to stay healthy and Reggie Gilbert only contributed 2.5 sacks after an impressive offseason.
Like the cornerback position a year ago, the Packers may need to draft more than one edge rusher (and use free agency, too), including a first-round pick.
Whether Jachai Polite is the selection at No. 12 or No. 30 really depends on the mock draft you’re reading. I would be lying if I said I had any idea where he’ll be drafted, but with two picks in the opening round, there’s a chance he’ll end up in Green Bay.
And that could be great news for the defense. Polite is coming off an 11-sack season, and Jon Ledyard of The Draft Network believes he can do the same in the NFL:
"“His pass rush game is pretty polished, and his ability to win with speed and bend opens up inside counters all day. NFL teams may overlook him because of his frame, but the traits are here for Polite to be a double-digit sack guy at the next level.”"
If the Packers decide to select an edge rusher in the opening round, Polite would be a great choice.