When the Jacksonville Jaguars made edge defender K’Lavon Chaisson the 20th overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft, they thought they were getting a player that would constantly create pressure up front. However, the former LSU Tiger hasn’t lived up to expectations and runs the risk of becoming an afterthought in Jacksonville.
Alex Ballentine of Bleacher Report recently drew up a list of NFL players who could lose their jobs after the draft and Chaisson popped up. Ballentine notes that the former first-round pick has been a non-factor over the last two years and adds that the Jaguars should be ready to replace him with the first overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.
"It was Chaisson’s second season with just one sack after getting drafted in the first round of the 2020 draft. The Jaguars will have the prime opportunity to add an elite pass-rusher alongside Allen when they are on the clock with the first pick. After using the franchise tag to keep Cam Robinson at left tackle, it would sure seem like the team is prepared to use the top selection on an edge defender. Dane Brugler of The Athletic reported that Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson is the clear favorite, but Georgia defensive end Travon Walker is also a “realistic possibility.” Either way, the Jags should be prepared to find a replacement for Chaisson."
Chaisson didn’t make an impact for most of his rookie campaign but finished strong, posting 21 pressures in the last seven games. The hope was that he was going to build off that performance and show progress in 2022. Instead, he once again failed to be a factor. Thus, it wasn’t surprising to see the Jaguars sign former San Francisco 49ers defensive end Arden Key to bolster their pass rush. Also, if the Jaguars do select Aidan Hutchinson or Travon Walker with the top pick, there may no longer be room for Chaisson in Jacksonville.
What will the Jaguars do with K’Lavon Chaisson in 2022?
Chaisson has undergone plenty of changes over the last two years. While that may not be the only reason he’s underperformed, it could have played a role. After rushing the passer from a two-point stand at LSU, he was asked to play with his hand on the ground in his first NFL season. Last year he was switched to linebacker in the offseason but the move didn’t end up helping much.
Of course, Chaisson like most players on the Jaguars’ roster last season may have been affected by Urban Meyer’s toxic environment, so there’s a reason to believe he could thrive if defensive coordinator Mike Cadwell finds a role for him that suits his strengths. On the other hand, the clock is ticking and the former LSU standout is running out of time to show he can be an effective pass rusher.
The fact that Jacksonville will probably select a pass rusher first overall and the presence of Arden Key will make it more difficult for Chaisson to stand out. Heck, it wouldn’t be shocking to see the team’s brass shop him around in the weeks preceding the draft. After all, the current coaching staff inherited him and don’t have any attachments to him.
K’Lavon Chaisson hasn’t been a productive player throughout his young NFL career and while he still has time to develop into a solid pass rusher, he hasn’t shown enough over the last two years to make the Jaguars believe he can make a positive impact. At this moment, it’s uncertain if he’s part of their long-term plans.