Jaguars: K’Lavon Chaisson named as potential breakout candidate in 2021

QB Ryan Fitzpatrick #14 and Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker K'Lavon Chaisson #45 (Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports)
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick #14 and Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker K'Lavon Chaisson #45 (Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports) /

After going 1-15 last season, there was nowhere to go but up for the Jacksonville Jaguars. There are several reasons why they lost 15 consecutive games. Not getting much production from their rookie class was one of them. In particular, EDGE defender K’Lavon Chaisson looked underwhelming and struggled to adjust to the NFL. However, things are looking up for the LSU product ahead of the 2021 season.

Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report recently drew up a list of every NFL team’s potential breakout candidates in 2021 and Chaisson was the pick for the Jaguars. Knox says that Chaisson was underwhelming last season, posting just one sack and 12 quarterback pressures. On the other hand, he believes the former Tiger will have more opportunities to rush the quarterback now that he’s making the switch to strong-side linebacker and expects Chaisson to resemble the dominant edge rusher he was in college.

Chaisson has already been named the Jaguars’ most interesting project ahead of the 2021 season and there’s a reason why. As Knox pointed out, he will now play strong-side linebacker. Making the transition to the pros is no walk in the park. Making it more difficult for the 2020 first-round pick was the fact that he was learning how to rush the quarterback with his hand on the ground. He will now play a role similar to the one he had at LSU in defensive coordinator Joe Cullen’s scheme.

The Jacksonville Jaguars should be thrilled about K’Lavon Chaisson.

Former Jaguars general manager David Caldwell wasn’t really good at acquiring talent during his eight-year tenure with the team. However, he had a few hits every now and then and the 2020 draft class has plenty of upside. Injuries and the previous coaching staff limited its development but Jacksonville must be thrilled about their sophomores’ untapped potential.

Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer has previously praised second-year cornerback C.J. Henderson and has described him as a talented young man. Wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. is also a candidate to have a breakout year. Moreover, defensive tackles Doug Costin and DaVon Hamilton showed flashes last season, just like Chaisson did towards the end of the year.

Pro Football Focus credited Chaisson with 29 pressures last season, 21 of them in the last seven weeks. His lone sack came in Week 1 against the Indianapolis Colts but should be able to consistently rush the quarterback as a strong-side linebacker.

It was easy to question Chaisson’s selection in the draft, as he struggled early in his rookie campaign. Nevertheless, he finished the 2020 season strong and should be able to pick up where he left off. For that reason, it’s easy to envision him having a breakout season in 2021.

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