No. 1 Jaguars who must shine in training camp: Laviska Shenault
NFL players have to constantly fight for their job and that’s precisely the situation Laviska Shenault Jr. finds himself in ahead of the 2022 season. Viska was one of the most talented wide receivers in the 2020 draft class but might have slid to the second round due to his injury history at college.
Nevertheless, Shenault went on to put up solid numbers in 2020, catching 58 receptions for 600 yards and five touchdowns. Moreover, he finished the season with 14 forced tackles, the second-most among rookie wideouts. This is even more impressive when you take into account that Jacksonville had a revolving door at quarterback and went 1-15 that year.
This made Shenault an early favorite to become a potential breakout star in 2021. However, he had a down year. He averaged less than 10 yards per reception and didn’t reach the end zone a single time. He had an outstanding outing against the Cincinnati Bengals, hauling in six receptions for 99 yards but was otherwise a non-factor throughout most of the season.
You could make a case that the Urban Meyer debacle had a negative impact on Shenault and he should be able to bounce back under Doug Pederson. But he will have to compete for playing time in 2022 due to the arrival of Christian Kirk and Zay Jones.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the Jaguars reportedly placed Shenault on the trade block earlier this year. If he shines in training camp, he will put to rest any potential talks of him changing uniforms and will have the chance to become the player Jacksonville expected when they drafted him.