The Jaguars selected Laviska Shenault, Wide Receiver, out of the University of Colorado. He was the tenth pick in the second round and was the ninth wide receiver drafted in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Laviska Shenault is 6’5″ and 220 pounds. He played three years at Colorado and will be 21 years old at the beginning of the 2020 NFL season. Shenault dealt with a lot of injuries while in college and played through most of them. He had toe surgery in 2018 and shoulder surgery back in 2019. Shenault certainly embodies toughness for playing through a lot of injuries. He even participated in the NFL Combine with an injury that required core muscle surgery after the event. Shenault claims that he is now back to 100% health. Shenault also endured some poor quarterback play at times in college.
Laviska Shenault broke out at the age of 19 (age during their first season with a 20% receiving dominator rating) in his second season for the Buffaloes. Shenault’s best season was his sophomore season at 19 years old. Shenault had 89 catches, for 1,011 receiving yards, and 11 scrimmage touchdowns for a receiving dominator rating (average percentage of their team’s receiving yards and receiving touchdowns) of 32.7% (53rd percentile). Shenault had above-average age-adjusted production. He averaged 741.0 scrimmage yards (65th percentile) and 5.7 scrimmage touchdowns (60th percentile) per season for an average scrimmage dominator rating (average percentage of their team’s scrimmage yards and scrimmage touchdowns) per season of 15.6% (74th percentile). Shenault was very efficient from a yards per reception and yards per team play standpoint. He averaged16.3 yards per reception (76th percentile) and 0.86 scrimmage yards per team play (67th percentile). While Shenault wasn’t a contributor on special teams, he did have two big plays on special teams in his only opportunities. Both plays went over 50 yards and one resulted in a touchdown. Shenault appears to just ooze big-play ability.
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Laviska Shenault was dealing with an injury during the Combine and it seemed to affect his 40-yard dash time. With the injury, he has an excellent height-adjusted speed score of 103.2 (78th percentile) after running a 4.58-second 40-time. He did not participate in any other drills. Shenault is a bigger wide receiver that made electric plays consistently at Colorado. His speed and size combination paired with his running back playstyle should make him fun to watch in the NFL.
NFL Landing Spot
Jacksonville Jaguars: The Jaguars are a mess. The Nick Foles experiment started quick and ended even quicker. The Jags are presumably turning the keys over to Gardner Minshew, or could bring in a quarterback like Jordan Love with their pick in the draft. In relief of Foles, Minshew’s 91.2 passer rating ranked 16th, but the Jags finished as the 26th ranked offense. However, they did pass with the ninth highest frequency, giving some hope for their WR corps. That core group is headed up by D.J. Chark, Dede Westbrook, and Chris Conley. These three combined to account for 52% of the team’s targets. The only other wide receiver to reach double digit targets was Keelan Cole. The Jags decided not to chase any receivers in free agency, instead bringing in Tyler Eifert. If Eifert can stay healthy, he will vulture some targets from all three of the starting receivers, but don’t expect anyone else to in 2019. Westbrook and Conley will both be free agents after this year, so there is some stash viability for another receiver here, but don’t expect much of an immediate return barring injury.
Rivals’ Rapid Analysis
Laviska Shenault’s size-adjusted athleticism makes him a very tantalizing wide receiver prospect. Prior to the 2019 season, Shenault was considered one of the top wide receivers in this class. However, nagging injuries and poor quarterback play led to a down final year. The upside is there for Shenault, it will be curious if he can reach his potential in the NFL. The Jaguars invested high second round draft capital into Shenault. He has an unclear degree of opportunity and will compete with Chark, Westbrook, and Conley for targets from Minshew.
Laviska Shenault is in Shawn’s third wide receiver tier, Shawn’s WR8, and Shawn’s Overall Rookie Rank 16. Shawn would target Shenault in the mid second round in superflex rookie drafts (early-to-mid second round in single QB). This is a complicated landing spot. The WR group was competent enough in 2019 considering what they dealt with, but is also mostly out the door after this season. But the Jaguars putting high second round capital draft stock into Shenault really changes things. For a team with a lot of clear needs elsewhere to take this leap clearly shows an intent to work him into a primary role. D.J Chark is clearly still the alpha here, but Shenault can slip into the WR2 role by continuing to flash his big-play ability and consistency. The biggest red flag for Shenault is his ability to stay healthy, and he is currently recovering from a core muscle surgery, but if he can stay healthy he could wrestle the WR2 role away from Westbrook, who is a free agent after this season, along with Conley. Short of that, he can always show up on day one in a pair of jorts.
Laviska Shenault is in Dave’s second wide receiver tier, his WR9-WR11, and his 17th-20th overall rookie. Dave would target Shenault in the mid-to-late second round of superflex rookie drafts (mid-second round in single QB). Shenault had above-average age-adjusted production despite dealing with injuries throughout college. His physical style of play combined with solid athleticism makes him the Derrick Henry of wide receivers. If he can stay healthy, he should be entrenched as the wide receiver two in Jacksonville. This makes him a good bet in the middle-to-late second round of dynasty rookie drafts.
This article was written in collaboration with Dave Wright. For more analysis check out Dave and Shawn’s previous articles at Dynasty Football Factory. Additionally, you can also find Dave’s dynasty superflex rankings at Dynasty Football Factory. Stay tuned for more rookie wide receiver rapid reaction articles from us throughout the entire NFL Draft. We will also give you instant reactions for priority UDFA wide receivers to help you try and find the next Adam Thielen. Interact with Dave and Shawn on Twitter @ff_spaceman and @ff_walrus. You can listen to our rivalry on our podcast @ATaleofTwoRivals with @ff_banterman.