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Top Edge Rushers in NFL Draft: K’Lavon Chaisson

LSU’s potential-packed K’Lavon Chaisson ranks No. 2 among this year’s edge-rushing prospects.

LSU’s potential-packed K’Lavon Chaisson ranks No. 2 among this year’s edge-rushing prospects.

K’Lavon Chaisson received a scholarship offer to LSU before he played his first varsity snap at North Shore High School in Galena Park, Texas.

Chaisson stopped playing football following his freshman year at North Shore so he could focus on basketball. He attended an LSU football camp the summer before his junior year to support a friend. He was coaxed onto the field and, a few hours later, had been awarded a scholarship offer.

It was a piece of expert recruiting by LSU. Chaisson led the state of Texas with 15.5 sacks as a senior. He played two seasons for the Tigers. After missing almost all of the 2018 season with a torn ACL, Chaisson amassed 6.5 sacks and 13 tackles for losses – both team-leading figures – to earn first-team all-SEC for the national champions. Two of those sacks came against Oklahoma in the playoff semifinals.

Chaisson (6-3, 254) is a superb athlete but didn’t like being pigeon-holed into a speed rusher.

“We watch tape and I'm putting a bunch of guys on their tail,” Chaisson said. “I've got some power behind me, too. A lot of guys, when they say I'm just speed, they obviously don't watch film. I know I'm definitely more than a one-dimensional player. I've got speed, power, finesse. Whatever you want, I've got.”

Despite the lack of experience, he was voted a permanent team captain and was given the prestigious No. 18 jersey

“It's my character,” he said. “This shows the type of guy I am on and off the field. Something that I don't do just for attention. My parents raised me right. I feel I was raised the right way, regardless of the situation – on the field and off the field, in the classroom, even if you want to talk about just the random streets of Baton Rouge or Houston. I'm always somewhere where people speak highly of me,and positive of me. Ask any homeless person in Baton Rouge. I'm telling you, at least once a week I'm giving somebody some food. Not because of the attention. I never ask for anybody to record or tell anybody about it. It's just truly deep in my heart.”

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Sacks don’t always translate. At LSU, Danielle Hunter was barely a blip on the radar from a statistical standpoint. He blossomed into a star with the Vikings. Chaisson can do the same because of his ability, which shows up frequently enough on tape. “Everything that I've done so far has just been raw talent. I've gotten some coaching but from a scale of one to 10, I'm probably at like a 3 right now. There is so much more I could get better in and I feel like right now I've gotten this far just off raw talent. And the skill-set, when it comes to coaching and the veterans teaching me the game, I feel like there is no ceiling to my game.”

What we don’t like

He’s got to get better against the run. According to Sports Info Solutions, runs at him had a 60 percent success rate – the worst of our top 25 prospects. He can improve in that area, to be sure, though his 32 1/4-inch arms won’t help him. He also missed 11 tackles (17 percent). Mostly, he’s just raw. 

Bill Huber’s Edge Rusher Profiles

No. 1: Ohio State’s Chase Young

No. 2: LSU’s K’Lavon Chaisson

No. 3: Penn State’s Yetur Gross-Matos

No. 4: Iowa’s A.J. Epenesa

No. 5: Michigan’s Joe Uche

Nos 6-20: Best of the Rest