Will rookie K’Lavon Chaisson have a monster rookie season as a pass rusher for the Jacksonville Jaguars?
After two seasons of production that did not meet expectations, changes to the defensive roster were needed. And they cam swift and with impact.
- Jalen Ramsey traded to the Los Angeles Rams
- Marcell Dareus released because of salary cap issues
- Calais Campbell traded to the Baltimore Ravens
- A.J. Bouye trade to the Denver Broncos
Four important starters at the beginning of the 2019 season gone, leaving huge holes to fill and questions to be answered. Can this roster rebound? Will the free agents the Jacksonville Jaguars front office signed replace these fan favorites? Can Wash take this roster and make it better, maybe not the same level as the 2017 defense, but can he make it an effective unit?
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Most of all, Wash will work with rookies who were drafted early who are expected to change the dynamic of the unit. Make it whole again. It’s a tall task for C.J. Henderson, K’Lavon Chaisson, and DaVon Hamilton. They must come in and produce early and often,
"“Being young, we’re obviously not going to force-feed stuff that you can with a veteran unit,” Wash said via Jaguars.com. “It’s more important that they can have the ability to go out and execute. It’s maybe not so much how much we do; it’s how well we play it.”"
While Henderson will be expected to replace Jalen Ramsey as the team’s top cornerback and Hamilton will be asked to come in and join the interior defensive line rotation, Chaisson could have a revolving role in different areas of the defense.
Chaisson, who was drafted as an outside linebacker, could play in multiple sets in Wash’s defense. While he continues to preach the basics of a 4-3 defense as has been the case since he because the team’s coordinator, there is still a belief there will be changes and wrinkles that move to a 3-4 sub-package that allows for more speed on the outside – something Chaisson will gladly take advantage of.
As Wash said last week, the defense needed to be more athletic and quicker. The front office did a good job of bringing in younger players who fit a profile the team wants to use this coming season.
Wash is expecting that from both Chaisson and Henderson.
"“Well, I think, you know, we want both of them to be plugged in the first game and playing a majority of the reps,” Wash said when asked by the local media. “We know that they have the physical skills to play at this level, obviously, you know, both of them being drafted in the first round. But we anticipate both of them to be solid impact players for us, you know, Week One.”"
Chaisson will be asked to play in space and help stop the run. He will also be asked to step up and help in pass coverage and the Jacksonville Jaguars pass rush. The former LSU star’s athleticism will be key to making the transition from college star to rookie NFL success story.
Because of the changes made, the Jaguars have had to make because of a virtual offseason, there is an expectation of players coming in and adjusting to what they have been taught virtually. It will be up to Chaisson and his teammates to catch on quickly to make the kind of impact Wash and his coaching staff hope for this season.