After taking two defensive stars in Round 1 of the 2020 NFL Draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars began to build up their offensive weapons on Day 2, selecting Colorado receiver Laviska Shenault. The junior will be learning under the tutelage of Jags receiver coach Keenan McCardell, a relationship from which Shenault says he’s ready to learn.
“It’s always good to be under somebody that got a lot of experience so i’m just ready to get under there, get over there and learn and just get better every day,” said Shenault on a call with local media Friday night.
When Jacksonville used their second round pick, No. 42 overall, on Shenault, he admits he was a little surprised.
“I think I did meet with them at the Combine and I had just a lot of talks with the receivers coach and he just likes me overall. He likes me as a player and he likes how I can move around everywhere and just dominate at every position. But we didn’t spend that much time together though. It wasn’t like a lot of time. So it was kinda shocking.”
Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell said on Thursday night that there wasn’t pressure to use a first round pick on offense given the weapons already in place—DJ Chark, Tyler Eifert, DeDe Westbrook, etc.—and that if both Henderson and Chaisson were gone at pick No. 9, they liked a receiver at the spot.
However, “we’ve heard for the last year that this is the deepest receiver draft and we know that there are going to be receivers all across the board as the draft goes on.”
Shenault is a huge reason this receiving class is so deep…literally. At 6’1”, 227 lbs., he has a large frame for a receiver, something that tremendously helped him gaining yards after the catch.
During his career at Colorado, he accumulated 1,943 yards on 149 receptions. Also a valid run threat, he added 280 rushing yards. All total, he had 30 career touchdowns. Five times in his Buffaloes career, Shenault scored a receiving and rushing touchdown in the same game. And he is the only Colorado player in the history of the program to score two rushing touchdowns and two receiving touchdowns in the same game.
“I think I’m an athlete,” described Shenault.
“I think I can move around everywhere and do anything that’s at task and you know, and just, dominate at different places and do what everyone loves…I love getting the ball anywhere I can create mismatches. And I love getting the ball in my hands when it’s right off the snap. That’s just what I like to do. I like to gain those yards. It don’t have to be easy, it can be hard, whatever. But I like to definitely get the ball out to me quick and get those hard yards, those redzone yards so i’m definitely looking forward to it."
He relates himself to Cleveland Browns receiver Jarvis Landry, Arizona Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald and Atlanta Falcons receiver Julio Jones. That’s a trio that has little in common other than a shared position, but what they each bring to the table is what Shenault would like to emulate.
“I said Jarvis Landry cause like everyone knows he plays with like that dog mindset, that dog mentality. And he say it, he make it known. He’s not a like a big receiver at all. He’s not about his size, he’s just about the attitude he play with and the aggressive he play with and I think I do the same thing.
“Larry Fitzgerald, he’s just like a business person, when he get on the field you already know he’s strictly about business, he’s gonna get the job done.
“Julio Jones he’s just a freak and he can do anything and everything. We’ve seen him do everything so that’s just a do everything type of guy and I think I can do the same thing.”
Follow his sophomore 2018 season, Shenault underwent two surgeries, one for a torn labrum and another for a toe injury. He underwent another surgery this offseason, this time a pelvic surgery, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. As such there’s an understandable injury worry hanging in the air. He was injured at the NFL Combine in February. He ran the 40-yard dash, “needing surgery” he explained and “if I was perfectly healthy, I really think anywhere between a. 4.39 and 4.44.”
Shenault will be joining the 2019 sensation Gardner Minshew and while he admits he didn’t closely follow Minshew Mania, he’s ready to meet and get started.
“I’m excited, I can’t wait. Just ready to get that bond together. It all starts with the bond. I can’t wait to definitely, definitely get on the field.”
After appearing in the AFC Championship in 2016, the Jacksonville Jaguars have gone 11-21 the past two seasons. It’s little question this class is part of a rebuild. Laviska Shenault has the experience to help with that, having made his college decision with that exact mindset.
“Colorado used to be a team that was very good. You watch the 30 for 30, you see how much, how aggressive they play and just how good they was so I just wanted to try to bring that back as much as possible.
“I’m just ready to work to be honest. That’s really all it is. That’s how I live my life, being tough, and taking it to the field.”