Sophomore Pass Rusher K'Lavon Chaisson to Declare for 2020 NFL Draft

Glen West

LSU sophomore outside linebacker K'Lavon Chaisson has decided to forgo his remaining two years of eligibility and enter the 2020 NFL Draft. With Chaisson's departure, the Tigers have now lost eight underclass starters from its championship team.

Chaisson had a bit of an up and down third season at LSU after receiving a medical redshirt year for tearing his ACL in the first game of the 2018 season. He was awarded the No. 18 jersey in 2019 alongside fellow teammate Lloyd Cushenberry, symbolizing his status as a team captain and leader of the defense.

Coming in as a preseason All-American, expectations were high for Chaisson to deliver a consistent, high-level season because of his supreme athleticism and technique. While it wasn't the All-American season from a stats perspective, Chaisson's presence on the field was felt in every game.

He finished the year with 60 tackles, 13.5 tackles for a loss, 6.5 sacks and a forced fumble. Like most players that aspire to be great, Chaisson saved his best play for the final four games of the year, the postseason. 

In those games he recorded 20 pressures, five sacks, four hits, 11 hurries, 4.5 tackles for loss and 18 tackles. Because of that strong finish to the season combined with anticipated great combine numbers, Chaisson could set himself up as a first round draft pick.

"After consulting with my family and God, it is with great honor and pride that I declare myself to the NFL Draft," Chaisson wrote. "Although I wont be playing another down as a Tigers, I will forever bleed purple and gold!"

With Chaisson now gone and senior Michael Divinity now officially graduated and moving on as well, LSU has a hole at outside linebacker. The most likely candidate to win the job is freshman Marcel Brooks, who converted from safety to outside linebacker during the season.

The team would like to add some weight on Brooks' over the offseason but the freshman played well in spot situations for the Tigers this year. Junior's Ray Thornton and Andre Anthony are also candidates to play outside linebacker in 2020.

With Chaisson's decision to go pro, the only remaining piece that needs to decide on his future with the program is tight end Thaddeus Moss, who broke the program reception and yards records in his lone season as a starter.