Wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. has tumbled down the Jacksonville Jaguars’ depth chart in recent months and could potentially become a trade candidate. However, the one team the Jags wouldn’t deal him to is the Houston Texans.
Alex Kay of Bleacher Report recently drew up a list of trades each NFL team should propose before the start of the 2022 season and he suggests Jacksonville deal Shenault to their division rivals. Kay argues that will probably get a reduced role on the Jaguars’ offense due to the addition of Christian Kirk and Zay Jones earlier this year. He goes on to say that Viska could help a receiving-need Texans team in exchange for a Day 3 draft selection.
Houston’s receiving corps is already thin and could have a critical lack of talent if the club opts to trade Brandin Cooks this year. Cooks recently re-upped for two more seasons but could be more valuable to the club as trade bait to bolster their current rebuild.
The Texans have guys like Nico Collins, Chirs Moore, Chris Conley and Phillip Dorsett attempting to carve out a role behind Cooks. Shenault may not be ready to separate as a clear-cut WR”, but he’d be one of the most athletically gifted wideouts on the roster with a higher ceiling than his peers.
A second-round pick in the 2020 draft, Shenault had a promising rookie year, hauling in 58 receptions for 600 yards with five touchdowns. He was expectead to make a leap in Year 2 but ended up falling short of expectations, catching 63 passes for 619 yards and no touchdowns. The former Colorado Buffalo is currently the No. 4 receiving option in Jacksonville behind Kirk, Jones, and Marvin Jones Jr. This has in turn made him a potential trade candidate.
The Jaguars could trade Laviska Shenault but not to the Texans
The Jags reportedly placed Shenault on the trade block earlier this year, so nobody would bat an eye if they do it again. However, Houston, and any of their AFC South rivals for that matter, wouldn’t be a realistic destination. Trades within the division aren’t unheard of but they’re not particularly common. Simply, there’s no way Jacksonville would deal Viska to the Texans, face him twice a year, and run the risk of seeing him thrive with their archnemesis.
Also, it’s hard to see the Texans trading Brandin Cooks. He’s their best receiving and arguably their top offensive player. Sophomore Nico Collins is a fine No. 2 but he would definitely struggle as the top option in Houston’s passing game.
Behind Cooks and Collins, there’s not much depth and there are even a couple former Jaguars (Phillip Dorsett and Jalen Camp) that couldn’t cut it last year vying for playing time. 2021 second-round pick John Metchie III was supposed to have a big role but he was diagnosed with a curable form of leukemia and is out for the year.
Could the Jaguars trade Shenault? Sure? Would they take calls from the Texans? It’s highly unlikely unless they offer premium compensation, which won’t probably happen.