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NFL Combine 2020: Why LSU’s K’Lavon Chaisson is dream pick at 22 for Buffalo Bills

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NFL Combine 2020: Why LSU’s K’Lavon Chaisson is dream pick at 22 for Buffalo Bills

 

When LSU edge rusher K’Lavon Chaisson walked to the podium inside the Indiana Convention Center on Thursday morning, he couldn’t stop grinning.

It was like he was in on a secret that the dozens of reporters standing before him just weren’t privy to.

On the football field, Chaisson is a blur. His speed, power, bend, and football I.Q. mean he’ll probably come off the draft board before the Buffalo Bills get a chance to take him at No. 22.

 

But on Thursday he wasn’t playing football. He was standing still, poised and charming as any prospect on the day, answering questions about what his skill set lacks with a confident smirk.

“It’s obvious. I’m going to be honest. I’m actually the most valuable player in the draft,” Chaisson said as if everyone in the room should have already known.

“We all know that,” he reaffirmed. “When you hire someone do you want to hire someone who speaks one language or do you want to hire someone that speaks three languages? I speak three languages. I do pass rush. I can drop in coverage and cover anybody you want me to cover. (And) I can play the run. And no offensive lineman has ever just moved me off the ball, or bullied me. So I feel like that’s what makes me more dimensional. And a more valuable player than anybody else in the draft.”

Chaisson seems like the most logical choice for the Bills in the first round of this year’s draft. Their two sack leaders - Jordan Phillips (9.5) and Shaq Lawson (6.5) - are free agents and at least Phillips is likely gone. Left on the edge are Jerry Hughes and Trent Murphy, who didn’t have a big enough impact in 2019.

 

When Bills general manager Brandon Beane finds a player that checks all the boxes, he’s shown over and over that he’s willing to move up. He has nine picks to use in this draft and could package a few to move high enough to take Chaisson.

Chaisson, who measured 6-foot-3 and weighed in at 253 pounds, was asked about his 2019 season for LSU, who took home a National Championship. He finished with 6.5 sacks but he reminded critics that his impact came in more ways than just the stat sheet.

“I’m putting a bunch of guys on their tail,” he said. “I mean 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.”

Whatever happens in free agency, Beane won’t hesitate to take a playmaker on the defensive line that rush the passer, he said this week.

“I think even if we signed back both Shaq and Jordan it would not deter me in any round to take another pass rusher. I think it’s one of the premium positions,” Beane said. “The elite ones get paid. After the quarterback that’s usually the next highest paid position. If there’s a guy there in any round that we think can come in and help our roster, we would take him, whether we resign those guys or not.”

 

 

 

Beane and Bills coach Sean McDermott love players that love to play the game. Chaisson met with the Bills and the two sides just spent some time “talking ball.”

“It went great. I feel like the (Bills) coaching staff was very respectful. We talked ball. They got to know me. A lot of ball talk. We talked through defensive plays,” Chaisson said. “I don’t do this for recognition. It’s something I can give my heart and passion to.”

Chaisson said he can fit in any system and has no problem playing in Buffalo. And he’s not afraid of the cold, either. He said he’d play in Alaska if that’s where the team played that drafted him.

What’s the final box that Chaisson checks? He knows he’s not a finished product and he wants to work to develop. Just what Beane and McDermott are looking for.

“There are things I can get better at. I’m not going to say I’m the best at anything right now,” he said. “I’m always willing to improve. ... Everything that I’ve done so far has just been raw talent. I’ve gotten some coaching but from a scale of 1-10 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.”

 

 

 

 


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