Jaguars need these 4 second-year players to step up in 2021

Members of the Jacksonville Jaguars drumline (Photo by Harry Aaron/Getty Images)
Members of the Jacksonville Jaguars drumline (Photo by Harry Aaron/Getty Images) /
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Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker K’Lavon Chaisson #45 (Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports) /

1. K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE defender, Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Jaguars traded Calais Campbell and Yannick Ngakoue last offseason. That forced them to rely on defensive end K’Lavon Chaisson more than they probably projected in 2020, especially after Josh Allen suffered a knee injury that limited him to eight games.

The LSU product logged his first sack in Week 1. That would be the last one he would register last season. Although he played all 16 games in 2020, he only posted 19 total tackles and three tackles for a loss. However you look at it, that’s not the kind of production a team expects from a first-round pick. On the bright side, he went on to register 19 pressures in the last five games of the year.

The team’s brass surely expects Chaisson to break out in 2021. They signed Jihad Ward and Roy Robertson-Harris this offseason but both of them will play a complementary role. They also added Jordan Smith in this year’s draft but he’s expected to be a backup. Also, Jaguars defensive coordinator Joe Cullen will switch between 3-4 and 4-3 formations, so Chaisson will sometimes rush the quarterback from a two-point stance. This hybrid defense should play to his strengths.

Chaisson displayed flashes last year. It’s time for him to show he can form a terrific pass-rush duo along with Allen. It’s unlikely that the Jags will have a top 10 defense in 2021 but if Chaisson performs at a high level, the unit will not be a liability any longer.

Next. Predicting the Jaguars' first loss in 2021. dark