The Jacksonville Jaguars need an Edge Rusher/Defensive End

(Tim Warner/Getty Images)
(Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

Will the Jacksonville Jaguars use one of their early draft picks to find another pass rusher to ease the loss of star players?

The Jacksonville Jaguars need to shore up the offensive and defensive lines n order to compete in the NFL in 2020.

The defensive end was a position of strength for the Jaguars at the end of the 2019 season.  However, the loss of Calais Campbell and the potential loss of Yannick Ngakoue leave the team in a bad position.

The Jaguars have six defensive ends on their current roster and one of them is Ngakoue who is unlikely to play for them next season. That leaves Josh Allen (a potential superstar), Dawuane Smoot and Lerentee McCray (solid backups) and Chuck Harris and Cassius Marsh. This is the key pass-rushing position and with a rebuilding defensive tackle position, the team needs to address this in the draft or free agency.

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The draft offers one true superstar to the NFL. This player is Chase Young of Ohio State.  He is not only the best defensive end but many say the best player in the entire draft. His Combine grade was a very impressive 7.37 which designates him as a perennial All-Pro. As a wannabe general manager I dream of a player like this but the Jaguars would need to trade up to get him.

However, with the team’s many needs this is unlikely. We will hear a lot about Young in the coming years.

All is not lost, however.  There are several impressive prospects for the Jaguars to consider. One is K’Lavon Chaisson of LSU.  He is 6’ 3” and weighs 254 pounds. He is classified as an edge rusher. His Combine grade was 6.50 which designates him as a boom or bust prospect.  He was named to the SEC All-Freshman team. He tore his ACL during his sophomore season. He returned to the team the following year and had 60 tackles, 6.5 sacks, 13.5 tackles for loss, and a forced fumble.

Chaisson was selected first-team All SEC and Defensive MVP of the 2019 Peach Bowl. In addition, he was chosen by the coaching staff to wear No. 18, which is a high honor at LSU.

Chaisson is a high character guy as indicated by the coaches choice of awarding him the jersey honor in college.  Lance Zierlein of broke down his Combine performance.

"“Chaisson’s stock has gained momentum with his surging performance matching the elite athletic qualities,” he wrote. “It adds up to an increasingly confident projection as an impact pass-rusher with Pro-Bowl potential.”"

The one thing the Jacksonville Jaguars need this season is impact players. The team did finish seventh in the league last season in quarterback sacks, but key losses on the defense will affect that drastically this season. Chaisson could be another hybrid player like Allen in the team’s defensive scheme. Walter Football also wrote about the impact he could have with any team that drafts him.

"“For today’s NFL, Chaisson is a valuable commodity because he is a lightning-fast edge rusher and is a twitchy athlete, thy wrote. “Chaisson is quick off the ball with a fast first-step. He has a burst to run around the corner and a second gear to close on the quarterback. On top of being a pure speed rusher, Chaisson has an impressive arsenal of pass-rushing moves.”"

In terms of where he may get drafted, Chaisson is rated as a top-20 choice in the upcoming draft and may not make it to the Jacksonville Jaguars second first-round pick. Character and speed make him special. The concern with him is his injury history and size. He is great at pursuit but can struggle with power plays coming straight at him. The Jaguars should consider this multi-talented athletic player if he is available.

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