Could the Jacksonville Jaguars have used Javon Kinlaw in 2020?
The Jacksonville Jaguars’ defense had a hard time stopping opposing offenses this past season. On a good day, the unit would allow ‘just’ 24 points but more often than not, they gave up 30 or more. Coaching, injuries, and lack of talent all played a part. Also, the team expected defensive end K’Lavon Chaisson to make an impact right out of the game but didn’t. Looking back, should they have taken defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw instead of the LSU product?
Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report recently did a draft redo and in it, the ‘Jags’ used the 20th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft to take Kinlaw instead of Chaisson. He signals the defensive end’s low production as a reason why Jacksonville should have taken the defensive tackle the San Francisco 49ers chose with the 14th overall selection.
Knox says Kinlawas a quality run-stopper, logging 33 total tackles, 1.5 sacks, and 10 quarterback pressures. Also, the rookie defensive tackle could’ve helped against both the pass and the run according to Know.
The Jacksonville Jaguars’ should be pleased with their pick.
It’s true Chaisson didn’t have a particularly great rookie year. In fact, he struggled in the first half of the 2020 season, which prompted the Jaguars to reduce his playing times down the road. However, the 6-foot-3 standout finished the season on a high note, logging 21 pressures in the last eight games of the year, which are 11 more than the ones Kinlaw registered.
It’s too early to call Chaisson a flop or suggest they ‘Jags’ might’ve been better off drafting someone else. It wasn’t always pretty but the team’s brass should be pleased with his performance down the stretch. With a new defensive coordinator and a fresh start, the former Tigers defensive end should be able to get even better in 2021. Moreover, the ‘Niners’ took Kinlaw with the 14th overall. If the Jaguars really wanted to draft him, they would’ve had to trade up, which may not have made much sense.
It may be a while before this Jacksonville team knows whether drafting Chaisson was the right thing to do. For the time being, they need to put him in a position to succeed in 2021 for him to reach his potential.