Former Jaguars 1st-round disappointment gets fresh start with Panthers

• K'Lavon Chaisson has found a new home after a disappointing 4-year stint with the Jaguars.

Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end/outside linebacker K'lavon Chaisson (45) participates in an
Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end/outside linebacker K'lavon Chaisson (45) participates in an / Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union / USA

Edge rusher K'Lavon Chaisson had an underwhelming four-year stint with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He'll now get a fresh start with the Carolina Panthers.

Chaisson, a first-round pick in 2020, joined the Panthers on a one-year deal with a max value of $5 million. In Jacksonville, he was expected to become a key cog in their pass rush but instead was a non-factor throughout most of the past two years. Looking back, there were many reasons he failed with the Jags.

For starters, Chaisson was raw coming out of college. Expected to learn behind Yannick Ngakoue and Calais Campbell, he was pressed into action when both of them were traded before the start of the 2020 season. It didn't help that Josh Allen missed significant time that year, putting additional pressure on Chaisson to perform.

To make matters worse, the Texas native had to get used to playing with his hand on the ground after playing in a two-point stance at LSU. All these things ultimately led him to log just one sack as a rookie.

Things were supposed to be better in 2021. Urban Meyer became the head coach and Chaisson moved back to outside linebacker. Unfortunately, he failed to make an impact once again and finished the year with a sack. By midseason, he was the subject of trade talks. The Minnesota Vikings were seemingly interested in acquiring him before staying put.

Head coach Doug Pederson took over the Jaguars in 2022 and Chaisson got a clean slate. He couldn't seize the opportunity and progressively saw his playing time decrease. For the third season in a row, he registered one sack, giving him three for his career. To nobody's surprise, the team chose not to pick up the fifth-year option on his rookie deal.

Without any other options, Chaisson was the No. 3 pass rusher last year. He managed to tally a career-best two sacks but was otherwise unremarkable. He'll now get a chance to start over with the Carolina Panthers.

What does K'Lavon Chaisson's departure mean for the Jaguars?

K'Lavon Chaisson becomes the third member of the Jaguars' 2020 draft class to join the Panthers. Carolina traded for cornerback C.J. Henderson (ninth overall pick) during the 2021 season, and wide receiver Laviska Shenault (second-round pick) was traded the following year.

With Chaisson (and Dawuane Smoot) leaving, the Jaguars will need to add a third pass rusher. Under Ryan Nielsen, they may be switching to a 4-3 scheme, so they'll need to look for a pass rusher who can play in a three-point stance. Based on the resources Jacksonville has invested throughout free agency, they may wait until the draft to round out the rotation.

Having said that, the Jaguars may have bigger needs to address. After losing Calvin Ridley to the Tennessee Titans, they'll need to look for his replacement. Similarly, they need to look for a cornerback. Granted, they signed Ronald Darby in free agency, but his deal is only for two years. When you take into account that Tyson Campbell is set to become a free agent in 2025, the Jaguars may want to prioritize taking a corner in the first or second round.

Looking back, the Jacksonville Jaguars didn't put K'Lavon Chaisson in a position to succeed early in his career. However, he was later given ample chances to show out and couldn't take advantage of them. Rightfully, it was time to move on. Maybe a chance of scenery was what he needs to put it all together.

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