Former LSU outside-linebacker took the nation by storm late in the season, catapulting himself into the NFL Draft picture. Would he be a fit for the NY Giants?
Even though offensive tackle and center remain uber-important needs for the NY Giants, one could make the case that the team needs an explosive edge rusher more than anything else.
Enter LSU’s K’Lavon Chaisson.
Effectively off the 2020 NFL Draft radar heading into his redshirt sophomore campaign after tearing his ACL early on in his original sophomore year, Chaisson was a major reason for the LSU Tigers winning the 2019 National Championship.
He came on especially strong late, racking up 4.5 sacks (of 6.5 in 13 total games) during the final three games of the season, including the national semi-final and championship games against Georgia (not against our guy Andrew Thomas) and Clemson. It got so bad against Thomas that LSU had to move him elsewhere, where he did, in fact, pick up a sack against another offensive lineman.
While it’s surely admirable that he was able to raise his level of play against the best of the best, his lack of production for the rest of the season is a bit worrisome. However, it depends on what type of production you’re looking at.
In my opinion, Chaisson has been miscast as a true ‘edge’ player and is more of an all-around 4-3 linebacker. Anyone watching those last two CFBP games saw a player that was making a difference on multiple layers of the field, and he definitely has the ability to be a very solid professional.
Unfortunately, he doesn’t seem to be in play for the NY Giants for two reasons. First, where he’s predicted to land in the draft doesn’t match up with where Big Blue will be picking, barring some type of crazy far-down trade back.
Secondly, he’s not an ideal scheme fit in a 3-4 as it would limit a bunch of what he’s good at. From what I saw, Chaisson is a player that can cover athletic tight ends and even receivers, to a degree. That is inherently valuable in today’s NFL, and some team will surely take a chance on him in the top-20 of this year’s draft.
While the NY Giants would be a much-better defense right away with Chaisson on the team, I, for one, wouldn’t like to blow our load on him and bank on him being a 10-sack guy for the future — which is what we need.
I know many have pontificated that new defensive coordinator will run ‘multiple looks’, but when you look at the personnel, this team is going to play a base 3-4 — I don’t think there is any way around that. Combined that with the fact that teams play nickel a staggering amount due to offenses using three WR’s an ungodly amount, and we’d almost never get to see Chaisson doing what he does best.
He does possess an array of tricky, slick pass-rushing moves, but I don’t feel his strength is pinning his ears back and taking on a tackle one-on-one — we saw how that worked out against top OT prospect Andrew Thomas.
Furthermore, I believe he’s a player that will thrive more off blitzing from a 4-3 in the NFL, as the quarterback and offense will have to wonder whether he is dropping back in coverage or randomly coming off the blitz. I just didn’t see enough winning one-on-one battles to make me think he can be an elite 3-4 rusher.
Not to mention, in a more-normal draft that was flush with top-end pass rushers, Chaisson either would have likely stayed in school or been a day two guy with the production and tape he displayed.
So, while we’re all hungry for a pass-rusher anyway we can get one, Chaisson doesn’t appear to be the guy for scheme and draft position reasons.
He’ll be a solid NFL player, it just probably won’t be for the NY Giants.
Prospect grade: B-
Team need: 7/10 (two points deducted because I don’t feel he’s a true ‘edge’)
Scheme fit: 3/10
Likelihood we get a chance to draft him: 1/10 (obviously, I’m talking about after #4)