3. K’Lavon Chaisson – Jacksonville Jaguars strong linebacker
This choice could be a tad odd, especially when you take into account that K’Lavon Chaisson was a non-factor early in the 2021 season. Then again, when it comes to the NFL (and plenty of other sports and disciplines), it’s not about how you start but how you finish. The LSU product logged just eight pressures in the first nine games of the year but had 21 in the following seven.
Chaisson will be moving to strong linebacker in defensive coordinator Joe Cullen’s system. Last season, he lined up at defensive end and had to undergo a learning curve. He will now be rushing the passer from a two-point stance, which should help him recreate the success he had in college. Also, the former Baltimore Ravens defensive line coach will find creative ways to use him and maximize his talent.
EDGE defender Josh Allen should be healthy after missing eight games. The Jaguars also signed Roy Robertson-Harris and Jihad Ward this offseason. With better talent up front, Chaisson should have an easier time finding favorable matchups. In fact, it wouldn’t be shocking to see him record ten sacks (or get close to it) in 2021. He and Allen have the potential to become a formidable pass-rush duo and combine for 20 sacks.
The Jaguars had more than enough cap space to pursue someone like Trey Hendrickson or Romeo Okwara in free agency. However, they opted to sign Roy-Robertson and Ward instead because they are probably expecting Chaisson to make a massive leap in production this upcoming season.