NFL clubs allocate vast amounts of time and resources to studying college prospects but because drafting talent is such an inexact science, the success rate is worse than that of flipping a coin. Exhibit A is outside linebacker K'Lavon Chaisson, the 20th overall pick in the 2020 draft. The Jacksonville Jaguars thought at the time they were getting a player that would bolster their pass rush but instead got one that has been hardly a factor over the last three seasons.
In Chaisson's defense, he's had to learn a new scheme and change positions a handful of times in his short NFL career and that lack of continuity would surely have a negative impact on most player's development. Having said that, the player also known as Swiper is running out of time in Jacksonville. The team's brass opted not to exercise the fifth-year option on his rookie deal, and he's now set to become a free agent in 2024.
Even though Chaisson could finally hit his stride in 2023, it's fair to say that he's a disappointment so far. To make matters worse, there are a handful of players the Jags could have drafted 20th overall instead of him. Here are five Jacksonville would have liked to select in retrospect.
No. 5 draftee the Jaguars regret ignoring for K'Lavon Chaisson: Tee Higgins, WR
Back when the Cincinnati Bengals drafted Tee Higgins, nobody thought that the quarterback he caught passes from, Trevor Lawrence, would end up landing with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2021 but that's precisely how things played out.
Higgins has gone on to have three fruitful seasons in Cincy. However, the Bengals might have a hard time paying him next year, when he's set to become a free agent, because the Bengals might prioritize paying fellow wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase and quarterback Joe Burrow.
With his future in question, Higgins was the subject of trade talks. In the end, Bengals general manager Duke Tobin squashed the conversation, saying that they're not in the business of parting ways with talented players.
Of course, hindsight is 20/20 but imagine the Jaguars drafting Higgins in 2020 and then pairing him back with Lawrence the following season? That would have been a sight to see.