5 players Jaguars could have drafted instead of 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) /
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Jacksonville Jaguars
New Orleans Saints center Cesar Ruiz (51) at Bank of America Stadium – Jaguars. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports /

The Jacksonville Jaguars had three top 50 picks in the 2020 draft, which they used to select cornerback C.J. Henderson, edge rusher K’Lavon Chaisson and wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. Although the three of them showed flashes at first, they haven’t had the impact the Jags originally envisioned.

The Jaguars already moved on from Henderson, trading him to the Carolina Panthers in exchange for a third-round pick and tight Dan Arnold earlier this year. Shenault hasn’t had the breakout season some expected and K’Lavon Chaisson hasn’t lived up to his draft billing.

Chaisson was off to a slow start in his rookie campaign, logging just eight pressures in the first nine games of the 2021 season. But he suddenly got into a hot streak and had 21 in the last seven weeks. The former LSU Tigers has already registered more starts (five) and total tackles (24) than he did last year. Nevertheless, he still has room for improvement as a pass rusher.

While Chaisson still has time to develop into a playmaker, the Jaguars passed on these players to take him.

No. 1 player the Jaguars could’ve drafted 20th in 2020 – Cesar Ruiz

Offensive lineman may not be a household name outside of The Big Easy but he’s become a key cog in the New Orleans Saints’ offensive line. The Michigan product was drafted two picks after Chaisson and went on to start 15 games in his first year in the NFL. This season, he’s appeared in every single offensive snap. Furthermore, he has the versatility to play guard or center. Drafting an interior offensive lineman may not sound like a thrilling move but if you can find a potential 10-year starter, does it matter?

Although there’s uncertainty at quarterback after the retirement of Drew Brees, the offensive line has been pretty stout this season and one big reason why is Ruiz. Then again, if the Jags had chosen him, they might have passed on Ben Bartch in the fourth round. Ruiz is arguably the better player at this point of their respective careers but Bartch has also shown flashes.