JAKE AND STACY

Seahawks Draft: Is LSU DE Chaisson worth staying in 1st round for?

Apr 23, 2020, 11:05 AM | Updated: 11:16 am
Seahawks K'Lavon Chaisson...
Jake Heaps thinks the Seahawks should take K'Lavon Chaisson if he's available at No. 27. (Getty)
(Getty)

The NFL Draft is almost here and the Seahawks have seven picks going into the first day. But who might be available to the Seahawks that could help Seattle on its way back to a Super Bowl? That’s the question we’re looking to answer in our third phase of our Seahawks offseason project on Tom, Jake and Stacy: draft prospects.

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The Seahawks’ biggest need heading into Thursday is the pass rush, but will they be able to address it at No. 27 overall? Most critics expect Seattle to trade back, but 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake Heaps says there’s at least one player that should give the Seahawks pause should he fall to them.

Edge rusher/OLB K’Lavon Chaisson (LSU)

Height/weight: 6-3/254
Class: Redshirt sophomore
Hometown: Houston, TX
2019 season: 34 solo tackles, 6.5 sacks, two passes defended
College career: 46 solo tackles, 9.5 sacks, four passes defended
Notable: All-SEC First-Team (Coaches), Chick-fil-A Bowl defensive MVP

“If there was one player, one player, I would hope the Seahawks would not trade back from it would be K’Lavon Chaisson.”

That’s what 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake Heaps said of the former LSU Tiger, who’s entering the NFL Draft at just 20 years old. It wouldn’t be the first time Seattle took a chance on a younger defender; the Seahawks drafted defensive end Rasheem Green out of USC 79th overall in 2018 when Green was also 20.

Unsurprisingly, the two faced a similar critique: that at such a young age and with limited playing time, they aren’t the kind of polished product most scouts seek from prospects with more accrued seasons. Chaisson suffered a torn ACL in 2018, effectively limiting his college career to two seasons.

But he bounced back and showed enough on the field in 2019 to make him a potential Day One pick. He was a team captain in 2019 and wore No. 18 for LSU – a school tradition, voted on by teammates, that recognizes a selfless and successful player. Now coming off his best season yet with the national champion Tigers, Chaisson has received plenty of high praise.

“When he comes off that twist and stunt he doesn’t lose very much speed and he’s able to combat the offensive guard,” Heaps said. “We talked about speed, violence and passion being the three things I’m looking for in every player the Seahawks bring on in 2020 and he checks all three of those boxes. He’s a violent player, he brings serious impact with every hit, and he brings a ton of swagger; you can feel his presence out there on the field.”

The question: Like most younger prospects (Chaisson is a redshirt sophomore) the former Tiger standout isn’t a polished product. That said, there’s plenty of potential.

“If at pick No. 27 he fell to the Seahawks and they did not pick him, I would be furious,” Heaps said. “And the reason why is that he may not be a totally polished player right now, but he has all the tools to be an elite force. Adding him would be an absolutely coup for the Seahawks because he’s exactly the type of pass rusher that they need to add to this group. And if they can add this type of player it really boosts the versatility of this unit and adds to that speed and that passion. I think he’d be one heck of an addition to this team and he may be one of the only players I think the Seahawks should stay at 27 to draft.”

Listen to Tom, Jake and Stacy’s profile on Chaisson at this link or in the player below.

Follow 710 ESPN Seattle’s Stacy Rost on Twitter.

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Seahawks Draft: Is LSU DE Chaisson worth staying in 1st round for?