K’Lavon Chaisson

Jaguars Notes: Lawrence, Chaisson, Tebow

Trevor Lawrence made his way back from offseason shoulder surgery and progressed to working out with his Jaguars teammates during OTAs. The No. 1 overall pick, however, has run into injury trouble on a new front. Lawrence battled left hamstring tightness last week, and after attempting to return to work during the first day of Jacksonville’s minicamp Monday, he aggravated the injury, Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com notes. Urban Meyer said Lawrence will likely sit out team drills Tuesday, and it certainly would not surprise if the franchise’s QB1 is done with seven-on-seven or 11-on-11 activity until training camp. C.J. Beathard and the now-mullet-less Gardner Minshew split the reps in Lawrence’s absence.

Here is the latest out of Jacksonville:

  • K’Lavon Chaisson will miss all of Jacksonville’s minicamp due to a positive COVID-19 test, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The second-year defensive end attended Von Miller‘s annual pass rush summit in Las Vegas over the weekend. The event had coronavirus testing, per Chaisson (on Twitter).
  • The Jags have used a 4-3 defense as their primary look throughout their 26-season history, but new defensive coordinator Joe Cullen will switch to a 3-4 alignment. Meyer confirmed as such Monday, via News4Jax.com’s Jamal St. Cyr. Dating back to their Marcus StroudJohn Henderson D-tackle duo through the “Sacksonville” period, the Jags preferred a 4-3 look. While the distinction means less nowadays, given teams’ sub-package reliance, it is notable the Jags will make this switch.
  • Tim Tebow has bulked up to 255 pounds, up nearly 20 from his quarterback days, and will be attempting to make a rare transition. Washington tight end Logan Thomas, who is 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds, provides a reasonable example of a quarterback-to-tight end switch working, DiRocco writes. Thomas, however, first worked out as a tight end in 2016 and said it took him two years to feel comfortable at the position. The former Virginia Tech quarterback made the transition in his mid-20s; Tebow will attempt to do so at 33. Thomas noted blocking will be Tebow’s most difficult task, but the Jags may not have a pure tight end role in mind for the former Heisman winner. The prospect of using him as a wildcat quarterback has surfaced.

Jaguars Sign K’Lavon Chaisson, 3 Others To Wrap Draft Class

The Jaguars became the latest team to wrap their 2020 draft class’ deals. They reached an agreement with first-round pass rusher K’Lavon Chaisson and three others to do so Monday.

In addition to their agreement with the LSU-developed edge defender, the Jags signed fifth-round safety Daniel Thomas, sixth-round quarterback Jake Luton and seventh-round cornerback Chris Claybrooks.

Chaisson will join a revamped defensive front, one that is thin on contributors from the acclaimed “Sacksonville” era. Jacksonville traded Calais Campbell and released both Malik Jackson and Marcell Dareus in the past two offseasons. Yannick Ngakoue must play this season on the franchise tag, but the team’s top pass rusher has vowed not to return to Jacksonville for a fifth season.

Jacksonville used first-round picks on edge defenders in two straight years, with Chaisson following Josh Allen to north Florida. Chaisson broke out for the national champion Tigers last season, registering 6.5 sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss. For his career, however, Chaisson only finished with 9.5 sacks.

Luton, who played at Oregon State, will compete for a job behind starter Gardner Minshew. Considering Mike Glennon and Joshua Dobbs are on the roster, Luton profiles as a candidate for the Jags’ practice squad. Thomas (Auburn) and Claybrooks (Memphis) will attempt to impress, despite limited offseason work, in training camp to earn jobs in the Jaguars’ secondary.

Here is the Jags’ 2020 draft class:

1-9: C.J. Henderson, CB (Florida): Signed
1-20: K’Lavon Chaisson, DE (LSU): Signed
2-42: Laviska Shenault, WR (Colorado): Signed
3-73: Davon Hamilton, DT (Ohio State): Signed
4-116: Ben Bartch, OT (St. John’s (MN)): Signed
4-137: Josiah Scott, CB (Michigan State): Signed
4-140: Shaquille Quarterman, ILB (Miami): Signed
5-157: Daniel Thomas, S (Auburn): Signed
5-165: Collin Johnson, WR (Texas): Signed
6-189: Jake Luton, QB (Oregon State): Signed
6-206: Tyler Davis, TE (Georgia Tech): Signed
7-223: Chris Claybrooks, CB (Memphis): Signed

NFL Draft Rumors: Dolphins, Raiders, 49ers

Before the Dolphins stuck at No. 5 overall and drafted quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, there were rumblings that Miami wanted to trade up not for a signal-caller, but for an offensive tackle. Had the Dolphins followed through with that plan, they would have been targeting Georgia’s Andrew Thomas, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Thomas ended up coming off the board to the Giants at No. 4, so Miami would have had to get to the third overall pick in order to have a chance. The Dolphins ended up finding an offensive tackle later in Round 1 with USC’s Austin Jackson:

Here’s more from last night’s action:

  • The Falcons were heavily linked not only to a potential trade up, but specifically to Florida cornerback C.J. Henderson prior to the draft. Atlanta did want to move up for Henderson, per Rapoport (Twitter link), but they couldn’t find a trade partner for a number of reasons. Both the Dolphins and Chargers wanted quarterbacks, the Panthers refused to trade within the division, the Cardinals were stuck on Isaiah Simmons, and the Jaguars wanted Henderson for themselves.
  • The Raiders were attempting to trade back from the 12th pick before selecting Alabama wideout Henry Ruggs, according to Vic Tafur of The Atheltic (Twitter link). Speculatively, Las Vegas may have been happy to land any of the top-three pass-catchers and figured it could move down, acquire more picks, and still find a wide receiver. Instead, the Raiders surprisingly went with Ruggs, who was widely viewed as the third-best WR behind CeeDee Lamb and Jerry Jeudy.
  • After trading DeForest Buckner to the Colts in March, the 49ers “quietly” tried to sign several free agent defensive tackles with no success, tweets Rapoport. Instead, San Francisco moved back one pick before adding South Carolina defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw. According to Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (Twitter link), Kinlaw was off at least one team’s board due to medical issues. Most clubs, however, deemed him only a “moderate” injury risk.
  • The Cowboys debated between Lamb and LSU edge rusher K’Lavon Chaisson at pick No. 17 before ultimately deciding on Lamb, per Rapoport (Twitter link). Chaisson was a popular target for Dallas in many mock drafts, but when Lamb unexpectedly fell to the middle of Round 1, the Cowboys couldn’t pass. Dallas will now feature a superb three-WR set of Lamb, Amari Cooper, and Michael Gallup.

Draft Rumors: Chaisson, Titans, Raiders

While they have been rumored to be deciding on a left tackle or Isaiah Simmons, the Giants are now being connected to another name at No. 4. Strong buzz has emerged on the Giants liking LSU edge rusher K’Lavon Chaisson, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports notes. Chaisson has not been mentioned as a top-five candidate previously, and La Canfora still mocks Tristan Wirfs to New York. But with Dave Gettleman shocking most by drafting Daniel Jones at No. 6 last year, an off-the-board pick should not be ruled out. The Giants are fairly desperate for edge rushers, having traded away Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon in consecutive offseasons and having not re-signed 2019 sack leader Markus Golden.

Here is the latest from the draft world, with less than five hours remaining until showtime:

  • Simmons’ versatility may be working against him in some circles. The do-it-all Clemson linebacker may be dropping, with Albert Breer of SI.com writing that teams’ issues with Simmons’ potential fit could well result in him tumbling Thursday night. Noting that a team needs a detailed plan to get the most out of Simmons, Breer does not expect him to go in the top seven.
  • Having lost Jack Conklin hours into free agency, the Titans have done a lot of work on offensive linemen in this year’s class, La Canfora adds. Ezra Cleveland‘s rise may play him out of Tennessee’s range (No. 29) at this point, but La Canfora points out the Titans are high on Louisiana tackle Robert Hunt as well.
  • Despite their 14-2 season, the Ravens did not fully replace C.J. Mosley. They have since lost inside linebacker Patrick Onwuasor. They may be in the hunt to fortify that spot tonight. The Ravens have been calling around on linebackers, Breer adds, potentially for a trade-up to land one of this draft’s best. Mel Kiper’s most recent mock draft has Baltimore taking LSU’s Patrick Queen at No. 28, with Oklahoma’s Kenneth Murray going ahead of him. But the Ravens may want to make sure they are in position to land one of these two players by moving up.
  • A footnote in the Raiders‘ blockbuster Khalil Mack trade: they lost their 2020 second-round pick. The team holds two first-round picks but “would love” to drop into Round 2 and stockpile draft capital in doing so, Breer notes.
  • The 49ers have engaged in conversations regarding potential trades of both their first-rounders — Nos. 13 and 31 — but Breer hears San Francisco would prefer to move down from 31 instead of 13. With the higher pick, the 49ers have been linked to top wide receivers. They have visited with CeeDee Lamb and are believed to be interested in Henry Ruggs.

LSU’s K’Lavon Chaisson Enters Draft

Another big name is on the board. On Friday, just before the deadline for underclassmen to declare, LSU linebacker K’Lavon Chaisson announced he’s going pro. 

[RELATED: LSU’s Lloyd Cushenberry, Jacob Phillips Declare For Draft]

Chaisson is the latest in a line of LSU stars to declare early entry. Quarterback Joe Burrow (the expected No. 1 overall pick), center Lloyd Cushenberry III, linebacker Jacob Phillips, and safety Grant Delpit are among the eight pros that decided to skip their remaining eligibility in order to kickstart their NFL careers.

Chaisson may be one of several Tigers called in the first round. The imposing edge rusher finished out his final collegiate season with 60 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, and one forced fumble. It was a big year and one that erased any questions about the 2018 season which was mostly loss due to a torn ACL.

Chaisson stands at 6’4″ and weighs in at 250 pounds, but he’s tremendously athletic for a player of his size. Some evaluators might have him slotted behind the likes of Alabama’s Terrell Lewis or Penn State’s Yetur Gross-Matos, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him shoot up the boards after the February combine.

Ohio State’s Chase Young is the undisputed gem of this edge rushing class (and, perhaps, the entire draft class). Iowa’s A.J. Epenesa also seems likely to come off the board early.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.