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Jaguars receiver Laviska Shenault has big goals for rookie season

Laviska Shenault Jr. of the Colorado Buffaloes carries the ball against the Washington Huskies in the first quarter at Folsom Field on November 23, 2019 in Boulder, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) (Matthew Stockman, 2019 Getty Images)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Laviska Shenault has goals and they go without saying.

The Jaguars rookie wide receiver wants to accomplish things that rookies just shouldn’t be able to accomplish.

Shenault, the No. 42 overall pick in last April’s draft, is expected to contribute and contribute early for one of the NFL’s youngest rosters. D.J. Chark is the clear-cut No. 1 receiver on the Jaguars. After that, it’s up in the air.

Why can’t that be Shenault, who said he’s approaching this season wanting to be the No. 1 wideout and soaking up as much as he can from Chark and receivers coach Keenan McCardell.

“And my expectations, I mean, to do big things of course. You know, do things that rookies didn’t do. I’m trying to do all types of things; I don’t really have a certain thing I want to do,” he said.

“But I mean, make the Pro Bowl or be the Rookie of the Year. Like I mean, that stuff is already [written],” he said. “I don’t need to make that my expectations, it should already be known. My biggest thing is just gaining respect from Duval County and my teammates.”

When the Jaguars chose Shenault in the second round out of Colorado, the buzz was immediate. Even though he’d had some injuries, Shenault’s highlights are special. He has the ability to line up in the slot or on the outside and probably projects as more of a true playmaker than just a receiver.

“Laviska Shenault Jr. is a freak, man. I knew it when we played him at Colorado,” said Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew.

“I was glad he wasn’t super healthy that game because he changes the game when he has the ball in his hands. He’s really impressed me. He’s a lot better route runner, a lot better at catching the ball than I even expected so I’m really excited for what he’s going to be.”

Shenault said that rapport with Minshew is developing, albeit slowly because players have been limited in what they could do in person in the offseason due to COVID-19.

“We’re slowly building it,” Shenault said of Minshew. “I mean, getting a connection with your quarterback don’t come quick. So, it’s a work in progress and I like it so far.”

About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.