The wait is over for Laviska Shenault. The Colorado Buffaloes receiver was chosen by the Jacksonville Jaguars with the 42nd pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Shenault is a unique receiver prospect who is best known for his ability after the catch. Since his breakout season in 2018, he has the most broken tackles (44) of any receiver in the country. Colorado used him all over the field — out wide as a deep threat, in the slot as a possession receiver, and even as a wildcat quarterback in short yardage situations. He’s 6’1, 225-lbs. and runs with a certain balance and power that’s rare for the position.
The DeSoto, Texas native is dangerous on jet sweeps and power runs, but he’s far from a gadget player. He has terrific hands and excels making catches in traffic. He might not be a polished route runner, but he has a good feel for finding spots against zone coverage. All this made for a very productive player, as he racked up 142 catches for 1,775 yards and 10 touchdowns in 20 starts. His catches per game (9.6) and yards from scrimmage per play (10.9) were both tops in the nation in 2018.
There are some legitimate concerns about Viska, mostly about his health. He suffered a toe injury in 2018, repaired a torn labrum the following offseason, and missed time in 2019 with a core injury that required surgery. He takes huge hits because that’s the only way to tackle him. He may have been overworked as well, because CU would smash the Viska button every time they needed a clutch play.
As far as this fit goes, the Jaguars are rebuilding their roster but do have some fun players on offense. He’s a great fit for former Washington State QB Gardner Minshew, an accurate passer who works the ball underneath. Shenault will form a terrific one-two punch with 2019 breakout player D.J. Chark.