Can rookie linebacker K’Lavon Chaisson make the kind of impact on the Jacksonville Jaguars he hopes for in his first season in the NFL?
There will be a magical moment this season when Jacksonville Jaguars edge rusher Josh Allen and rookie linebacker K’Lavon Chaisson meet at the quarterback and celebrate a sack that brings the crowd to their feet.
That’s the image general manager David Caldwell hopefully had when he decided to make K’Lavon Chaisson the 20th pick in the NFL Draft back in April. And after listening to Chaisson in his first virtual presser with the local media this past week, it looks like the marriage between the team and the rookie is one that will benefit both sides in the very near future.
“First and foremost, I am excited to be here. The last time I’ve been on a football field was Jan. 13, so it’s been a long time, so being here is a blessing,” Chaisson said in his opening statement.
“I am excited to be doing everything we have going on. My main thing right now is just being in shape and taking care of my body. Obviously, we don’t have preseason games this year. Just really taking care of my body for the extended training camp that we have this year and for the long season. I have kind of been prepared for that, back at LSU with the 15-game season we had, but this is a 16-game season and hopefully we have plenty more after that.”
The Jaguars front office and coaching staff, as head coach Doug Marrone explained prior to the NFL Draft, wanted to bring in players this offseason who were high-character guys – who could lead on the field and in the locker room and community. Chaisson’s comments show he could be one of those guys, but there are a few other veterans ahead of him in the pecking order. The combination of he and Allen should make Jaguars fans grin ear to ear as they are big, physical players with speed to rush off the outside lines.
Allen will serve as a mentor this season for K’Lavon Chaisson, which shows how much the coaching staff will rely on the former Kentucky standout in his second season on the roster.
“We have been talking a lot. We actually worked out a few times as well with each other. I kind of look at him as the role model, someone to follow, after all of the success he had,” K’Lavon Chaisson added. “I can say that people have bragged about his character and the way he’s displayed around the facilities as someone that I want to be looked at like that as well. Like I said, I look at him like a big brother and he’s kind of helped me welcome my way into the league and try to be a pro as best as I can.”
The Jacksonville Jaguars pass rush was decent last season, finishing seventh in sacks. Getting the same kind of energy from Allen as he displayed last season and a rookie who wants to prove he belongs in this league should also put a smile on the face of defensive coordinator Todd Wash.
The Jaguars and other NFL teams have had limited time to work with their rookies, which presents a problem in knowing just how much each player will be able o adapt not having the time early in the offseason for preparation.
This won’t just affect K’Lavon Chaisson, but the entire rookie class and undrafted free agents.
“Everything is obviously strange right now with the limited access we have, so it’s been hard to find some places to get some real work in as well try to stay socially distant from many people and try to stay safe,” he said.
“With the work that I get, I take full advantage of it and I try to get as much as I can and I am paying attention to all of the details. Not really more so trying to go hard and get everything, but trying to get every single technique and every single detail down and being able to bring that to the field.”