Jacksonville Jaguars: Laviska Shenault lead all WRs in key stat

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Laviska Shenault Jr. (10) and Denver Broncos CB Bryce Callahan (29) (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
Jacksonville Jaguars WR Laviska Shenault Jr. (10) and Denver Broncos CB Bryce Callahan (29) (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Jacksonville Jaguars have a playmaker in wide receiver Laviska Shenault. Based on a key stat, they need to get him the ball as often as possible.

Laviska Shenault Jr. leads all NFL wide receivers in missed tackles with ten, according to Pro Football Focus. This is newsworthy when you take into account that he hasn’t been as targeted as often as other players. In five games, Viska’s 31 targets rank 50th in the league and his 20 receptions are good for 55th place.

His ability to force tackles is second to none but Jacksonville can’t always expect him to create yards on his own. The Colorado product has shown he isn’t a one-trick pony and can also get deep. In the last two games, Shenault has had two 50+ yard receptions. It’s clear he can stretch the field.

Keep in mind that this isn’t an outlier. In his rookie season, Shenault forced 16 missed tackles, good for second in the league. On the other hand, he’s averaging two more yards per reception than last year. During the offseason, the former Buffalo was seen as a candidate to have a breakout season. Looking at his production in spite of his limited workload, it’s easy to see why.

The Jaguars need to give Laviska Shenault a bigger workload.

It’s difficult to say you will target a wide receiver an X amount of times every game. After all, individual matchups dictate the number of times a player will get the ball. That’s probably why Shenault was targeted just two times against the Tennessee Titans in Week 5. The coaching staff and quarterback Trevor Lawrence surely wanted to get the wide receiver involved but the opportunities weren’t there. Then again, the Jags need to find ways to increase his production.

Back in Week 2, Viska was targeted seven times but only caught two passes for -3 yards. He deserves blame for dropping a few throws but some of the passes he got were near the line of scrimmage. You can’t gain additional yards when you have defenders in your face by the time you got the ball. On the bright side, it looks like the coaching staff took notice and has used him differently.

With DJ Chark out for the foreseeable future, the Jaguars need Shenault more than ever. He’s shown he can be trusted, it’s up to the team to get him the ball.

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