Laviska Shenault Player Profile
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 227 lbs
40 Time: 4.58 seconds
College: University of Colorado Boulder
Coming out of the University of Colorado, Laviska Shenault is quite the prospect. With the size and athleticism to play receiver, running back, or even tight end, there are many teams that have an eye on him in this upcoming draft. Shenault is a versatile, consistent wide receiver, who scouts have even gone as far as to say “does not have much areas to improve in.” Shenault exploded onto the scene in his sophomore campaign, hauling in 86 catches for just over 1,000 yards, and 6 touchdowns, in only 9 games. But that wasn’t all, he also toted for 115 yards on 17 carries, piling on another 5 touchdowns. Laviska followed it up with an injury ridden, but still solid junior year. The Colorado prospect is as versatile, and well rounded a receiver as we’ll see in this year’s draft class.
Photo courtesy of USATODAY.com
It’s worth being redundant when we talk about Shenault to get the point across that he is as well rounded and versatile as they come. Viska has not only played all three of the receiver positions, but has impressed in each of the three scenarios. He even took a legitimate amount of snaps in the backfield his sophomore and junior seasons. Shenault's hands are as good as they come, and no disrespect to Steven Montez, but he seriously helped our guy prove that. Laviska's athleticism and strength after the catch are ridiculous, and make him a serious threat any time he has the ball in his hands. What Shenault lacks in speed and polished routes, he well makes up for with YAC (yards after catch) ability, vacuum like hands, and A1 athleticism/body control. Teams are banking on Shenault having no issue transitioning to a big play/spark plug type role in the league.
When we talk about the downsides to Shenault's game, there are three major topics of concern to touch upon: routes, speed, and injury concern. Shenault does not have the most versatile route tree, it's no secret. Although he is able to break off linear routes with a sudden quickness to them, Shenault's routes should be the main area of focus for him this offseason. Laviska ran a 4.58 second 40 yard dash at the combine. It's no secret that's not the fastest, but it's also no secret that breakaway speed is not his calling card. Shenault will be able to use his physicality and athleticism to create separation and make defenses pay after the catch. Our last concern is the fact that Shenault has already had some health issues, dealing with abdominal injuries for the majority of his junior year, which he will soon undergo surgery to repair. He also dealt with a nagging toe injury through his sophomore season. This will concern some GM's, but not enough to take their eyes off of the alluring prospect.
Shenault is a swiss army knife type receiver that many offenses would love to add to their repertoire. Expect him to go anywhere from the late first round to the first half of the second, to a team with a proven WR1 for him to compliment and feed off of, like the Saints, Packers, or Broncos. Viska's versatility will be highly sought after by many offensive coordinators in today's NFL and we shouldn't be surprised if teams dish out boat loads of assets to acquire this young man. Laviska Shenault is a boom or bust prospect who will soon provide that spark to a big play needy offense on Sundays.
Ceiling: Julio Jones
Floor: Cordarelle Patterson