Jaguars expect OLB K'Lavon Chaisson to play at a high level in 2023

• The Jaguars trust in K'Lavon Chaisson hasn't wavered

• They expect him to have a big impact on defense in 2023

Aug 19, 2023; Detroit, Michigan, USA;  Detroit Lions quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (50).
Aug 19, 2023; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (50). / Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

Outside linebacker K'Lavon Chaisson seemed to be on shaky grounds ahead of the regular season but the Jacksonville Jaguars expect him to have a big impact in 2023. Head coach Doug Pederson met with the local media Monday and said as much.

"I liked where he was at the end of the year, " Pederson told the media. "How he came into training camp, he's another one that's gonna get a lot of snaps this year. He's gonna be the No. 3 outside rusher. He's gonna have to play and he's gonna have to play at a high level. He understands that, so I've been pleased where he's, where he's at."

Pederson also said that he's pleased with the general state of the pass rush ahead of the 2023 season.

"When you really look around the league, there might be a shortage of pass rushers that are out there. If they are, they're on somebody's team, and they're locked up for a few years. With that being said, we are pleased with where we are. I think is Yassir's development, young player, did some nice things in the preseason but still has some work to do and some growth as he continues to get better," Pederson said.

"Josh [Allen] and Travon [Walker] — now going into the regular season — understand where they need to be and how they need to affect the pass rush. Obviously, where Foley [Fatukasi] was at the beginning of camp, he was dominant, was aggressive this foot, kind of set him back a little bit but we're expecting him back this week and really get him back to that full potential that he had early in camp."

Pederson continued, "DaVon [Hamilton] was the one that was kind of the shocker, with everything and we're just happy he's healthy and heading into the right direction but that's a big one from a pass rush standpoint. Big bodies and pass rushers are hard to come by. In the end, you just got to continue to develop our guys."

Chaisson a first-round pick in the 2020 draft, hasn't lived up to expectations. He's registered three sacks in as many seasons. Moreover, he's progressively gotten less playing time but without any other options available, the Jaguars will count on him to provide pressure up front.

The Jaguars pass rush remains a question mark ahead of the 2023 season

Josh Allen is entering a contract year and the Jaguars will let his contract play out before they make a long-term investment. Although Allen is the team's best pass rusher, he's acknowledged he needs to take his game to the next level in 2023. On the other Jacksonville expects a big leap from Travon Walker in Year 2. But even if both hit their stride, their pass-rush rotation could use a boost.

And that's the thing. The Jaguars passed on several chances in the offseason to upgrade their pass rush. Although they showed interest in Jadevon Clowney and Yannick Ngakoue, both of them ended up signing somewhere else. Now, Jacksonville will be counting on Yassir Abdullah and K'Lavon Chaisson to round out their rotation.

As Pederson noted, Abdullah flashed in the offseason while Chaisson hasn't done much of note. Maybe the pass rush will look less shaky once Dawuane Smoot, who signed a one-year deal, returns in October from an Achilles tear he suffered near the end of the 2022 season. Another possibility is for the Jags to acquire help through the waiver wire but there's no guarantee they'll find anyone.

Whether the Jaguars add someone to the rotation, they'll be counting on K'Lavon Chaisson in 2023. It's up to him to prove the trust they put in him is warranted.

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