A detailed scouting report on a fierce edge rusher in the 2020 NFL Draft class, K’Lavon Chaisson out of LSU.
2020 NFL Draft prospect, K’Lavon Chaisson, was a two-year starter on LSU’s defense. When Chaisson was a freshman, he received an All-SEC selection. Throughout his tenure at LSU, he received awards for first-team All-SEC, as well as CFB Semifinals Defensive MVP.
What caught my eye on Chaisson was the 2019 CFB Semifinals game against Oklahoma. In this game, Chaisson had six tackles and two sacks. He was a relentless force on the edge and was constantly wreaking havoc in the backfield.
He followed his performance with a National Championship appearance and he didn’t disappoint. The stat line only shows Chaisson had two tackles in the game, but what he did on the field was much more. After watching the film, Chaisson was doing what scouts call “dirty work”.
He continued to keep ball carriers inside, forcing them into LSU studs inside such as Patrick Queen and Rashard Lawrence. Chaisson also showed consistent hustle to backside plays that Clemson loves to run.
Chaisson is a fast riser as the 2020 NFL Draft quickly approaches. That being said, Chaisson is a young player (20 years old) but has a ton of room to grow. In this article, we are going to dive in and focus on K’Lavon Chaisson and find out what his projection can look like at the next level.
Name: K’Lavon Chaisson
Age: 20 ( 07/25/1999)
Weight: 254 pounds
Hand Size: 9 ⅞ inches
Arm Length: 32 ¼ inches
Wingspan: 79 ¼ inches
Career Stats (27 games): 92 total tackles (19 for loss) and 9.5 sacks
2019 Stats (13 games): 60 total tackles (13.5 for loss) and 6.5 sacks
Combine measurements and athletic testing numbers come via NFL.com.
Strengths: Chaisson does an outstanding job with bending as he attacks offensive tackles with leverage. He can manipulate his body to make it hard for tackles to get their hands on him. He also has outstanding first-step quickness and explosion off the ball. In my opinion, he has the best first-step speed in the 2020 NFL Draft.
He has a good sense of where the play is designed to go and allows the defensive scheme to make the play. Chaisson does a great job using his long arms to extend to tackles and engage the blocker with force. He is a very quick-twitch athlete who works well with different twists and stunts he was asked to do. On top of that, Chaisson is a very “coachable” player and was named a team captain at LSU last season.
While he doesn’t generate a lot of sacks, Chaisson does an excellent job with quarterback pressures. Chaisson is a hustle player and chases the ball down on the opposite side of the field.
Weaknesses: Chaisson needs to gain more muscle at the next level, allowing him to use his elite quickness and turn it into power depending on the rush scenario. Once Chaisson is engaged with a blocker, it’s hard for him to disengage to make a play on the ball. Unfortunately, Chaisson has had injury history in the past, most notably a torn ACL in September of 2018.
Chaisson needs to become more polished with his rush moves. He does this move with his hands, called the “High-low” technique, where he will waive his left arm in the air high to set the tackle to punch high while Chaisson goes low. He goes back to this move too often, allowing tackles to anticipate his moves. If his game is going to develop at the next level, Chaisson simply must learn to mix up his pass-rush moves.
NFL Comparison: Leonard Floyd (6-foot-6, 240 pounds)
Overall: While Chaisson has a lot of room to grow and polish as a rusher. He brings some elite qualities to the table. Chaisson is largely considered a top-tier edge rusher in the 2020 NFL Draft. He has an elite bend and first-step explosion, which will only become better in the NFL after he gains weight. He is a very young player and comes from a blue-collar program at LSU. He has scheme versatility, meaning he can play the “Buck” linebacker in a 3-4 or a defensive end in a 4-3.
He was named a captain and is leaving a college national champion. I believe that Chaisson will make an early impact on rush situations for an NFL team. I think he will become a full-time starter once he gets his first offseason where he can enter the strength and conditioning program and start to develop the weight he needs to compete on an every snap basis.
In the 2020 NFL Draft, K’Lavon Chaisson will most likely hear his name called in the early to mid-first round come April 23rd, and whoever lands him will end up being very happy with their selection.