JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jaguars turned their attention to offense early during the second round of the NFL draft on Friday night.
After going heavy on defense in the opening round, Jacksonville added Colorado receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. with pick No. 42 on Friday night, giving the Jaguars a playmaker who is electric with the ball in his hands.
It gives second-year quarterback Gardner Minshew II a young receiver to grow with and adds another playmaker to a young corps that includes DJ Chark, Dede Westbrook and Chris Conley. Who does Shenault compare himself to in the NFL?
“I said Jarvis Landry because everyone knows he plays with that dog mindset and that dog mentality and he says it and he makes it known. He’s not a big receiver at all, it’s not about the size, it’s about the attitude he plays with and how aggressive he plays, and I think I do the same thing,” he said. "Larry Fitzgerald, he’s just like a business person. When he gets on the field you already know he’s strictly about business and he’s gonna get the job done. Julio Jones, he’s just a freak and he can do anything; do everything. We’ve seen him do everything so that’s just that can-do-everything type of athlete and I think I can do the same thing.”
Shenault (6-1, 227 pounds) had 142 catches for 1,775 yards and 10 touchdowns over his last two seasons. He’s quick and a yard after the catch machine. Shenault isn’t as fast (4.58 time in the 40-yard dash) as some receivers, but he’s exceptional with the ball in his hands and making defenders miss.
“First off, my 40 time, I ran that while needing surgery," he said. "So that was the hard thing, just not being able to put in all the work I wanted to because it was mostly rehab and rest the whole time prepping for the combine. So that was the bad thing about that.”
Jaguars director of college scouting Mark Ellenz said that Shenault is, plain and simple, a playmaker.
“Well, I saw him play live in his first game back this year against Oregon and so you see him in person and he looks like a linebacker," he said. And he’s really good with his RAC, his run after catch, not only with burst and explosive speed, but he’s a strong kid that can break tackles, so he blends a lot of things together.”
The Jaguars drafted Florida cornerback CJ Henderson at No. 9 and LSU defensive end/linebacker K’Lavon Chaisson at No. 20 in the first round.
The run on receivers begin immediately in the second round, with Clemson’s Tee Higgins and USC’s Michael Pittman Jr. going to the Bengals and Colts, respectively. Georgia running back D’Andre Swift went next to the Lions. Indianapolis traded up with Cleveland to sneak in front of the Jaguars at No. 41 to draft Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor.