April, the month of the NFL Draft is finally here. Draft season is always interesting from a fan’s perspective. It always starts with picking your favorite “realistic” prospect for the team you root for. It’s always fun. However, as the Draft gets closer and closer, it seems like the prospect is going to be off the board when your team’s finally on the clock. With the Draft 20 days away from today, I feel that way about the Dallas Cowboys and Cornerback C.J. Henderson.
With Byron Jones headed to the Miami Dolphins, cornerback is the consensus top need for the Cowboys. Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis will enter contract years and both have yet to prove they can be reliable starters. Henderson, in the eyes of most, is the second-best cornerback in the Draft behind Jeffrey Okudah (a player the Cowboys can only dream of drafting since he’s likely to be a top 5 pick).
But the Jacksonville Jaguars, Las Vegas Raiders and the Atlanta Falcons all pick before Dallas. Right now, I believe Henderson is a long shot to wear the silver and blue. With that being the case, I believe there’s a player the Cowboys could find and be interested in. LSU Tiger EDGE K’Lavon Chaisson.
Despite the recent signing of Aldon Smith and a potential return from Randy Gregory, Chaisson might be too good to pass on. On Matt Miller’s Big Board, the LSU defender ranks as a top 10 talent. On Dane Brugler’s Defensive End rankings he’s #3 behind Chase Young and A.J. Epenesa.
Chaisson played as a stand-up rusher in LSU and showed a lot of explosiveness off the edge during his college career. Brugler describes him on The Athletic as: “Overall, Chaisson wasn’t a big-time producer at LSU and is still maturing physically and emotionally as a football player, but his explosive ability to rush and cover fits today’s NFL, projecting as a high-ceiling edge defender.”
Chaisson is likely to slip all the way to the 17th pick with three quarterbacks going early and teams making a run at a loaded offensive tackle position. Heck, I wouldn’t be surprised if three wide receivers are taken in the top 15.
The Cowboys made a bet in Aldon Smith and are hoping to see Gregory once again. But Smith is 30-years-old and Gregory has yet to play a full season. He played in 14 in 2018, a career-high for him, but only played in less than 50% of the defensive snaps.
If Chaisson is there, the Cowboys should likely pull the trigger and add a top defensive end talent to their defense. The defensive backfield could remain vulnerable, but opposing offenses should have a hard time dealing with a pretty talented defensive line that can rush the quarterback from all four positions.