Jaguars Officially Sign Rookie Receiver Laviska Shenault
The Jacksonville Jaguars have officially made a deal with another member of the team's 2020 draft class, announcing Thursday that wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. had signed his rookie contract.
Jacksonville drafted Shenault out of Colorado with the No. 42 overall pick in the second round of April's NFL Draft. With Shenault now officially signed, the Jaguars have five of their 12 draft picks signed, with Shenault being the highest-drafted player signed.
Defensive tackle DaVon Hamilton, linebacker Shaquille Quarterman, wide receiver Collin Johnson and tight end Tyler Davis have already signed.
Shenault figures to play a big role for the Jaguars early on in his career thanks to his versatility. At Colorado, Shenault was an explosive playmaker as a receiver, running back, wildcat quarterback and even tight end, making the options endless for offensive coordinator Jay Gruden.
"I think with a player like Laviska Shenault Jr., we feel there are multiple areas where he can make plays," Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone said after the team selected the 6-foot-1 Shenault.
"You may not have known about him before, but you may have saw a couple of highlights they showed where he was a Wildcat quarterback and lined up in the backfield as a running back and moved all over. He is just a tough guy. He does not run out of bounds. He breaks tackles. He can really do a lot of things. He is physical, he is fast. The guy is a definite playmaker."
In three seasons at Colorado, Shenault recorded 149 catches for 1,943 yards (13.0 average) and 10 touchdowns. He also added on 42 carries for 280 yards (6.7 average) and seven rushing touchdowns.
“I talked to him. Obviously, we feel he has the size and the speed to play outside. After we had drafted him and I got on the phone with him, both [Offensive Coordinator] Jay [Gruden] and I had a plan," Marrone said.
"We talked about how we’re going to do it and how we’re going to use him. I told him, I said, ‘Look, we have some plans,’ and you can put him in the backfield, he can play Wildcat, you can put him as the F-tight end, you can do a lot of things with him. You see it on his tape in 2018 and 2019. That’s one of the things that we looked at; we went back there, and I said, ‘Look, we can do all those things, but the whole key is going to be how well you grasp it, how well you pick it up.’ Because if he can, make no mistake about it, we want to be able to do those things.”