Laviska Shenault named Jags’ biggest offseason standout

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Laviska Shenault Jr. continues to add to his list of believers. The second-year wide receiver had 58 catches for 600 yards and five touchdowns as a rookie despite the team’s offensive struggles in 2020, and now that first-overall pick Trevor Lawrence is on the team, expectations are high for Shenault.

He impressed the coaching staff during organized team activities, and it seems that has now spread to the national media. On his list of the standout players of the offseason so far for each NFL team, Bleacher Report’s Brent Sobleski chose Shenault for the Jags.

New Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer caused a stir when this year’s 25th overall pick, running back Travis Etienne, spent all of rookie minicamp playing wide receiver.

Meyer and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell are searching for a hybrid to fill the H-back role in the team’s new scheme. Etienne shouldn’t be the only choice.

Second-year wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. showed out during the offseason program as a true playmaker.

“He’s a guy that’s right, in the right position, at that age gap. I love who he is, I love the way he practices, he’s been there every day,” Meyer told reporters. “He’s a great puzzle piece for us to have on offense, plus his attitude every day is fantastic.”

Etienne can stay in the backfield since Shenault is a wide receiver with running back capabilities after catching the ball.

Though, like Shenault, Etienne has a lot of versatility and can be used both in the rushing and passing game, they aren’t very similar players aside from that. Shenault is much bigger in both height and frame, having three inches and 17 pounds on Etienne.

The latter will likely see some reps at receiver, but he’ll likely see most of his playing time at running back. Likewise, Shenault should mostly contribute on the outside, as he did last season. Though he’s a major threat with the ball in his hands, totaling 298 yards after the catch last season, he only saw 18 rushing attempts.

The Jaguars have a No. 1 receiver candidate in D.J. Chark, whose tantalizing ball skills made him a favorite target of Gardner Minshew II the last two years. But Shenault can’t be overlooked, and whether or not he’s the top option, he will play a major role in the Jacksonville offense in 2021.