Taylor and Polite on Different Paths Toward NFL Draft

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – One has trended upward. The other has trended downward. Three months removed from standing alongside their Gators teammates during a victory celebration in Atlanta, Jawaan Taylor and Jachai Polite now stand at opposite ends of the spectrum.

Taylor is the underclassmen on the rise, the player scouts and analysts are buzzing about as the NFL Draft approaches. Taylor has gone from a respectable prospect at the start of his junior season to a possible top 10 pick in April’s draft.

At UF’s Pro Day on Wednesday, someone asked Gators defensive lineman Cece Jefferson about the potential of Taylor staying nearby and landing with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

“Does Jacksonville have the No. 1 pick? Because that’s where he needs to go,” Jefferson responded. “That’s a grown man. That’s the only guy I almost broke my wrist when I punched. His chest is like steel. This guy was made in a lab.”

The 6-foot-5, 314-pound Taylor flashed his well-conditioned physique Wednesday, doing nothing to damage his draft stock as he bench-pressed 225 pounds 24 times and then showed off his raw power and quick feet in offensive line drills led by New England offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia.

A three-year starter for the Gators,

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