Jaguars made right call, too early to give up on OLB K’Lavon Chaisson

OLB K'Lavon Chaisson #45 of the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
OLB K'Lavon Chaisson #45 of the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images) /

To no one’s surprise, the Jacksonville Jaguars chose not to make any moves ahead of the trade deadline. One player that was mentioned as a candidate to change teams was outside linebacker K’Lavon Chaisson. The former LSU Tiger ultimately stayed in Duval but it wasn’t because of a lack of interest.

It seems like the Minnesota Vikings wanted to land Chaisson but couldn’t work out a deal, according to Judd Zulgad of Skor North. He says the 20th overall pick in the 2020 draft was a potential trade option to add depth after defensive end Danielle Hunter suffered a season-ending injury in Week 8.

This isn’t shocking. Even though Chaisson has been off to a slow start to his NFL career, he was drafted in the first round last year for a reason. He has shown flashes of the player he was at LSU but is still making the transition to the NFL. You could argue that it’s taking too long but the truth is that every player is different and some take more time to find their footing in the pros.

It’s not outlandish to think that Chaisson could be struggling with the mental part of the game but regardless of the reason, it’s too early to give up on him. If this were the last year of his rookie deal, it might make sense to move on from him but he’s just 22 and in his sophomore campaign. If he doesn’t show tangible growth by the end of the season, he should probably enter Year 3 on the hot seat. For the time being, the Jags need to take a wait-and-see approach.

The Jaguars haven’t had a good track record in the first round.

The Jaguars chose Trevor Lawrence with the top overall pick of the 2021 draft. The former Clemson Tiger seems like the long-term answer at quarterback but other than him, Jacksonville hasn’t had a good track record finding talent in the first round of the selection meeting.

After Week 3 of the 2021 season, the Jags traded cornerback C.J. Henderson, the ninth overall pick in 2021, to the Carolina Panthers. Taven Bryan, the team’s first-round pick in 2018, is in the last year of this rookie deal and it doesn’t look like he will be part of the team’s future. 2017 first-round pick Leonard Fournette was traded before the start of the 2020 season and All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey, the fifth overall pick in the 2016 draft, was sent packing in 2019.

Chaisson may not live up to his draft billing, but he needs a fair shot. The Jags gave up on Ramsey and Fournette and both players went on to thrive after being traded. Also, Bryan is getting plenty of time to show his worth, there is no reason for the Jags not to give Chaisson the same opportunity. Sure, he was brought in by the past regime but so was Bryan.

In the end, the Jaguars didn’t trade Chaisson. Maybe they didn’t get a fair offer but it’s also possible that they recognize the outside linebacker could eventually flourish. Even if he doesn’t, they made the right call.

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