INDIANAPOLIS — A consistent pass rush can spell doom for opposing offenses, and it can be the difference between being a quality defense and one that wins championships.
They often say that in the NFL, your best shot to get an outstanding pass rusher is to draft them and develop them yourself, because teams rarely let them walk out the door.
The Indianapolis Colts find themselves in a unique situation this spring considering their typical status, sitting high in the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft order at pick No. 13 overall. Typically, that gives you a pretty good shot at finding a high-level pass rusher.
One player that may be available to them in the middle of the first round is a player that is prime to shoot up draft boards in the next couple of months: LSU edge defender K’Lavon Chaisson.
The newly-crowned National Champion Tiger started 17-of-26 games in his three seasons in Baton Rouge, totaling 92 tackles (19.0 for loss), 9.5 sacks, one forced fumble and four pass breakups. A season-ending ACL injury suffered in the first game of 2018 cost him his true sophomore season, in which he redshirted.
Chaisson (pronounced Kay-Luh-Vahn Chase-On) arrived at LSU as a five-star recruit after playing just two years of high school football. He made a quick impact for the Tigers, earning Freshman All-SEC honors in 2017. He would later be named First-Team All-SEC in his final season at LSU in 2019.
As raw as he is, Chaisson is very much an ascending prospect. He has a lot of catching up to do, having quit football as a high school freshman to focus on basketball before coming back to the gridiron two years later. He then missed his second season at LSU due to the aforementioned knee injury.
The 6-3, 250-pounder is very athletic and leaves no doubt that there is a lot to work with to help him become a top-end edge rusher.
Chaisson consistently gets a good initial first step off of the line. He is very fast around the edge, mixing these traits to put him ahead against the tackle who is tasked with blocking him.
He has a handful of pass-rushing moves in his repertoire; notably a long-arm, a spin, a dip-and-bend, and a two-hand slap. However, arguably the best tool in Chaisson’s belt is his balance and ability to dip and bend around the edge, forcing the tackle to play “below their belly,” which they hate to do.