K’Lavon Chaisson 2020 NFL Draft Profile

Chaisson
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Overview

Position: Edge rusher / Linebacker
Height: 6’3”
Weight: 254 pounds
School: LSU Tigers 

K’Lavon Chaisson 2020 NFL Draft Profile 

Despite playing just two years of varsity football for Houston, TX North Shore High School, Chaisson was considered to be an extremely raw prospect with high upside. Chaisson’s athletic ability, size, and productive senior season in which he tallied 50 tackles along with a state-leading 15.5 sacks earned him a lot of recruiting buzz. As a four-star recruit and one of Texas’ top linebacker prospects, Chaisson generated offers from schools such as Florida, Georgia, Texas, Oklahoma, and Michigan before choosing LSU. 

In 2017, Chaisson became just the eighth true freshman to start a season opener for LSU since 2000. Furthermore, Chaisson had a solid season for the Tigers as he played in 12 games and totaled 27 tackles along with two sacks. Chaisson’s following season was unfortunately cut short by injury, but Chaisson returned in 2019 as a redshirt sophomore with an outstanding campaign. Chaisson was named as a permanent team captain for the Tigers and did not disappoint as he tallied 60 tackles, 13.5 of which were tackles for a loss, along with 6.5 sacks through 13 games. Chaisson led the Tigers in both tackles for a loss as well as sacks and played a pivotal role in LSU’s National Championship run. Chaisson’s impressive statistical season also earned him All-SEC accolades.              

Strengths

  • extreme first step burst and quickness;
  • converts speed to power;
  • impressive flexibility and body control when rushing and playing in space;
  • strong fundamental hand techniques when engaging blockers;
  • good awareness when setting the edge and finding the football;
  • high motor;
  • violent tackler;
  • outstanding overall athleticism when rushing as well as covering tight ends;
  • can rush the passer with his hand in the dirt or standing up;

Weaknesses

  • 2018 ACL tear;
  • room to grow in terms of developing counter moves;
  • often wins with overall athleticism rather than finely detailed technique;
  • can add weight to his frame as well as additional strength; 
  • has violent tackling ability but hesitates at times;

NFL Comparison: Jamie Collins   

Teams With Need at Position: Cincinnati Bengals, Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, Arizona Cardinals, Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Atlanta Falcons, New York Giants, New York Jets, Detroit Lions, New England Patriots, Los Angeles Rams, Baltimore Ravens, Washington Redskins, New Orleans Saints, Seattle Seahawks, Houston Texans, Tennessee Titans 

Projection: Mid to late first round 

Bottom Line 

K’Lavon Chaisson is one of the best overall defensive athletes in this draft, whose position at the next level will be somewhat dictated by which team drafts him. As he is currently, teams may elect to play Chaisson more within a hybrid linebacker role as he has proven his athleticism can handle the task of playing in space as well as in coverage. However, Chaisson’s ability as a pass rusher will not be ignored either and teams may look at the raw prospect as a slightly undersized edge rusher. If that is the case, Chaisson will likely need to add some weight along with functional strength to consistently play on the edge of an NFL defense. Chaisson possesses rare athleticism and while a 2018 ACL tear limited his play experience, he is an extremely talented ball of clay who can be utilized in a number of different ways at the next level. If developed and utilized properly, Chaisson could be a better version of Collins, but given K’Lavon Chaisson’s lack of experience, he could end up being the next Barkevious Mingo.

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