Urban Meyer discusses why Laviska Shenault Jr. saw few targets against Titans

Meyer said that the team tried to get Shenault the ball more frequently this week, but it didn’t work out.

Laviska Shenault Jr. had his best game of the season against the Cincinnati Bengals in Thursday Night Football last week, reeling in six catches for 99 yards. After that performance, many expected that he would see a larger role in the passing game moving forward, especially with D.J. Chark Jr. likely to miss the remainder of the season.

That wasn’t the case against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, though. In a 37-19 loss, Shenault was targeted just three times, and he only recorded one catch. That catch was a big play that went for 58 yards, but it was late in the game. Jacksonville certainly could have benefitted from involving him earlier.

On Monday, coach Urban Meyer said that the team hoped to get him the ball more but it didn’t work out that way, according to Meyer, who spoke with the media on Monday.

“What we did was when we lost [DJ] Chark [Jr.], he had to go to play outside as well, but he was point of attack many times, It just didn’t get him the ball,” he said. “That’s something we have to make sure he gets the ball because you saw the one that he had. He’s dynamic and he’s arguably our best playmaker right now.”

This offense is clearly at its best when Shenault is involved, and while he hasn’t been as popular a target for Lawrence as Marvin Jones Jr. this season, the Jags need him to take up a more prominent role in the offense now.

He’s one of the best playmakers on this roster, and Meyer and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell need to find a way to get him more than three targets moving forward. With the Miami Dolphins ranking 26th against the pass and allowing an average of 288.6 passing yards per game, maybe Sunday’s game will come with better results for the second-year receiver.

Report: Jags WR Laviska Shenault avoids serious shoulder injury

Laviska Shenault was one of the players who came out of Week 2 banged up, but his injury isn’t one that is deemed major and he will be able to practice this week.

The Jacksonville Jaguars’ fanbase received a little bit of a scare Sunday when it was revealed that receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. needed an MRI, but according to several reports, surgery won’t be necessary. In fact, Jags coach Urban Meyer said he’d be able to practice this week.

During Week 2’s game against Denver, there was a play where Shenault was brought down on the Jags sideline and came up slow. A few trainers came over to look at him in the process, but he was able to finish the game.

Though some of his performance was probably a result of him dealing with the injury, Shenault had his roughest game as a Jaguar and only totaled two catches for a loss of three yards on seven targets. However, with the staff having high hopes for him, it’s a game the Jags will happily put behind them and continue to build on what positives they can.

Shenault was able to accumulate seven catches for 50 yards prior in Week 1, but has yet to make the impact many were hoping for after being one of the stars of training camp. When looking at his rookie season in 2020, though, fans clearly shouldn’t be hitting the panic button yet as he’s proven he’s more than capable of being a playmaker.

Jaguars’ Laviska Shenault Jr. named a breakout fantasy option by The Athletic

Shenault had 600 yards as a rookie through the air, and nearly half of those came after the catch.

Second-year Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. made quite a name for himself as a rookie despite the anemic offense around him. A second-round pick in 2020, Shenault finished with 600 yards and five touchdowns on 58 catches.

Now, with a new starting quarterback in place in Trevor Lawrence, Shenault looks to play an even bigger role in the offense this season. He won’t do it without competition, as No. 1 receiver D.J. Chark Jr. is looking for a bounce-back season, and free-agent signing Marvin Jones Jr. has been one of Lawrence’s favorite targets in the preseason.

Still, Shenault is a unique player within this offense. He moves like a running back with the ball in his hands, and it’s likely for this reason that The Athletic’s Andy Staples named Shenault as the Jaguars’ breakout fantasy football candidate in 2021.

WR Laviska Shenault Jr. is going to be a favorite of Urban Meyer because he’s used to getting the ball in a lot of different ways. At Colorado, Shenault was the only offensive threat. So with defenses primed to stop him, the Buffaloes moved him around and found ways to get him the ball in space. In camp and in the preseason, QB Trevor Lawrence has shown a fondness for throwing to Shenault. Shenault only averaged 10.3 yards a catch last season, but even if that number doesn’t rise much, expect him to produce because he’s going to be fed the ball a lot.

We have an idea of how coach Urban Meyer plans to use Shenault in the offense, as most of his opportunities in the preseason have been on short passes or screens designed to get him the ball in space. Considering 298 of his 600 yards as a rookie came after the catch, this makes a lot of sense. It also makes him a very intriguing candidate in PPR leagues.

Shenault has seen a lot of offseason hype, and the concern with drafting him in fantasy would be the fact that it’s unclear how big his role will be in the offense. Still, he should see a nice boost with Lawrence under center.

Laviska Shenault Jr. could be Jacksonville’s MVP in 2021

With Trevor Lawrence on the team, Shenault should be poised for a breakout season in Year 2.

Looking at Jacksonville’s receiving corps heading into the 2021 season, one could easily get distracted by D.J. Chark, who had a breakout 1,000-yard season in 2019 before injuries and poor quarterback play limited his production in 2020.

Fans could also look at veteran Marvin Jones, who’s coming off a 978-yard season with the Detroit Lions and was one of the team’s top offseason additions. But there’s one player in the group who brings a level of dynamism that no one else does, and that’s second-year player Laviska Shenault Jr.

Shenault is a very unique prospect. Though his height isn’t anything special for a receiver, he has an almost running back-esque build, allowing him to break tackles in the open field after the catch. Though there’s some debate about exactly how he will contribute with the Jags in the future, he’s sure to be a part of their long-term plans, one way or another.

According to CBS Sports’ Tyler Sullivan, Shenault — not Chark, or someone like quarterback Trevor Lawrence — is the top candidate to be the Jaguars’ MVP in 2021.

The arrival of Trevor Lawrence has left not just Jacksonville abuzz, but the entire NFL. While he’ll be the main attraction for folks, his injection into the Jaguars offense could do a world of good for 2020 second-round pick Laviska Shenault. As a rookie last year, Shenault impressed while catching 58 balls for 600 yards and five touchdowns, and is poised to make a Year 2 leap in 2021 — especially with increased quarterback play with Lawrence at the helm. The 22-year-old has reportedly been flashing the prospects of a potential breakout season during the offseason program and could very well solidify himself as Lawrence’s No. 1 option out of the gate.

It seems the news cycle just keeps circling back to Shenault this offseason, and he reportedly was very impressive during OTAs, with some wondering if he could take over the No. 1 receiver mantle most expected Chark to hold.

Whether he’s the top option or not, he should be a favorite target for Lawrence, and perhaps no player will benefit more from the improved quarterback play than Shenault. He managed to garner 600 yards in just 12 starts despite a revolving door at quarterback, and with Lawrence in town, he could be poised for a breakout season as Chark had in Year 2.

Moving Laviska Shenault Jr. to H-back would be a mistake

Bleacher Report thinks the Jaguars should move Shenault to H-back, but this would be a misuse of his talents.

Jacksonville receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. was one of the NFL’s most intriguing young players as a rookie. At 6-foot-1-inch and 227 pounds, he’s a tank with a low center of gravity, making him extremely difficult to bring down in the open field.

For this reason, it shouldn’t be surprising that nearly half of his 600 receiving yards (298, to be exact) came after the catch. During Jacksonville’s OTAs last month, he was one of the standout players with some even saying that he could compete with D.J. Chark for WR1 targets.

But not everyone is convinced that Shenault will develop into a No. 1 option. In fact, some don’t even think his future in the league is as a wideout. In his listing of the offseason move each team should make, Bleacher Report’s Brent Sobleski said the Jags need a versatile player and that Shenault, not rookie running back Travis Etienne, fits the bill.

The importance of understanding available talent and how to maximize individuals’ ability is critical for a team trying to improve upon last season’s league-worst record.

The Jacksonville Jaguars did the right thing by drafting Trevor Lawrence with the first overall pick. The team paired its new quarterback with former Clemson teammate Travis Etienne. This year’s 25th overall pick spent rookie minicamp as a wide receiver. Head coach Urban Meyer wanted to see what he can do as an H-back in his system. There’s nothing wrong with the approach.

However, a better option might exist in Laviska Shenault Jr.

“He’s a guy that’s right, in the right position, at that age gap. I love who he is, I love the way he practices, he’s been there every day,” Meyer told reporters.

Etienne can move back to running back and give the Jaguars two offensive playmakers.

To be honest, it’s hard to understand where Sobleski is coming from here. Shenault was far and away the most productive when lining up at receiver last season, and he’s a matchup nightmare against undersized defensive backs.

But moving him to an H-back role would take away what he does best. Though Sobleski says he’d become an offensive playmaker in this role, more than likely he’d often find himself as a lead blocker for James Robinson or Etienne. When he did see offensive action, it would likely come out of the backfield, which is where he was the least effective last season, totaling 91 yards on his 18 carries.

Shenault is certainly a unique prospect, and for a team with such a weapon at their disposal, it can be tempting to overthink things when attempting to work him into the scheme. But Shenault’s skillset fully points to him being a true receiver, which is where the bulk of his production came in college, as well.

His versatility is an added bonus, and it will allow Jacksonville to explore different packages to use him in. Some of these may even be in an H-back-type role. But these should remain specialty packages, and a position change for Shenault would be unwise.

After years of trial and error, the Jaguars finally have a dynamic receiver duo, arguably the best since Jimmy Smith and Keenan McCardell lined up together. It’s clear that coach Urban Meyer wants to find a Percy Harvin-style playmaker, but that player shouldn’t be Shenault.

Laviska Shenault named Jags’ biggest offseason standout

Shenault can’t be overlooked, and whether or not he’s the top option, he will play a major role in the Jacksonville offense in 2021.

Laviska Shenault Jr. continues to add to his list of believers. The second-year wide receiver had 58 catches for 600 yards and five touchdowns as a rookie despite the team’s offensive struggles in 2020, and now that first-overall pick Trevor Lawrence is on the team, expectations are high for Shenault.

He impressed the coaching staff during organized team activities, and it seems that has now spread to the national media. On his list of the standout players of the offseason so far for each NFL team, Bleacher Report’s Brent Sobleski chose Shenault for the Jags.

New Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer caused a stir when this year’s 25th overall pick, running back Travis Etienne, spent all of rookie minicamp playing wide receiver.

Meyer and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell are searching for a hybrid to fill the H-back role in the team’s new scheme. Etienne shouldn’t be the only choice.

Second-year wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. showed out during the offseason program as a true playmaker.

“He’s a guy that’s right, in the right position, at that age gap. I love who he is, I love the way he practices, he’s been there every day,” Meyer told reporters. “He’s a great puzzle piece for us to have on offense, plus his attitude every day is fantastic.”

Etienne can stay in the backfield since Shenault is a wide receiver with running back capabilities after catching the ball.

Though, like Shenault, Etienne has a lot of versatility and can be used both in the rushing and passing game, they aren’t very similar players aside from that. Shenault is much bigger in both height and frame, having three inches and 17 pounds on Etienne.

The latter will likely see some reps at receiver, but he’ll likely see most of his playing time at running back. Likewise, Shenault should mostly contribute on the outside, as he did last season. Though he’s a major threat with the ball in his hands, totaling 298 yards after the catch last season, he only saw 18 rushing attempts.

The Jaguars have a No. 1 receiver candidate in D.J. Chark, whose tantalizing ball skills made him a favorite target of Gardner Minshew II the last two years. But Shenault can’t be overlooked, and whether or not he’s the top option, he will play a major role in the Jacksonville offense in 2021.

Poll: Who will lead the Jaguars in receiving in 2021?

With a new franchise quarterback on board, which of Jacksonville’s receivers will be the most productive in 2021?

The quarterback side of the equation has been figured out in Jacksonville. Though we’re yet to see first-overall pick Trevor Lawrence compete in a game, he may already be the most talented passer the franchise has ever had. The question now is, where will he be throwing the ball?

The passing game was one of the areas that suffered the most with a revolving door at quarterback in 2020 between Gardner Minshew II, Jake Luton, and Mike Glennon. Three of Jacksonville’s top-five receivers from a year ago, Keelan Cole, Chris Conley, and Tyler Eifert, are no longer with the team.

Last year’s leader in receiving yards, D.J. Chark, is back after totaling 706 yards and five scores a year ago. But that was a bit disappointing after breaking 1,000 yards during his second season in 2019, and he’s one of the players on the team looking for a major bounce-back this season.

He’s a natural candidate to be the team’s No. 1 receiver, but he won’t claim that spot without a challenge. Second-year receiver Laviska Shenault Jr., who finished third with 600 receiving yards last year and matched Chark’s five touchdowns, has been impressive in organized team activities so far. Some have said he looks like a No. 1 receiver in his own right, and he’ll certainly try to prove that on the field.

These are the two obvious candidates to lead the team in receiving yards, but what of the dark horse candidates? Marvin Jones Jr., a free-agent signing from Detroit, finished with more yards last year (978) than any Jacksonville receiver. He’s 31-years-old, but the production is still there.

Jones will be an important veteran leader for this team, but he simply may not see enough targets throughout the season to compete with Chark and Shenault.

There are also less likely options, like second-year receiver Collin Johnson, who had 272 yards and two touchdowns as a rookie last year, and Jalen Camp, a receiver from Georgia Tech who was taken in the sixth round. But neither will likely see more than rotational action.

Chark and Shenault are the clear candidates to be the most productive receiver on the team next year, and the young duo will certainly play a major role in the years to come. But you also can’t sleep on Jones, who remained productive despite a moribund situation in Detroit.

Which of these three do you think will be the team’s leading receiver? Let us know in the poll below.

[polldaddy poll=10863546]

Could the Jaguars trade for Julio Jones?

ESPN’s Bill Barnwell predicted that the Falcons will ship their star receiver to Jacksonville.

As we continue to approach the ominous June 1 deadline, it seems more and more likely that the Atlanta Falcons will cut a deal involving Julio Jones. The 32-year-old superstar receiver is still very productive, but he’s becoming pricey for Atlanta to keep around, especially as he begins to regress a bit. After the June 1 deadline has arrived and dead money can be shifted to the next season, it wouldn’t be surprising to see teams bid for his services.

Could one of those teams be the Jacksonville Jaguars? Receiver isn’t exactly a massive need for the team, as it has a pair of young, impressive players in D.J. Chark and Laviska Shenault, and it also signed experienced veteran Marvin Jones Jr. this offseason. But none of those guys are quite as talented as Jones, which is why ESPN’s Bill Barnwell predicts that the Jags will send the Falcons a second-round pick and Shenault to acquire Jones and make one of the splashiest trades in franchise history.

He thinks that due to the cost of Jones’ remaining contract, only about five teams with quarterbacks on rookie deals (including Jacksonville) could potentially afford him. Of those, only two — the Patriots and Jaguars — are good fits, per Barnwell. But he doesn’t think New England will be aggressive enough to make a move for him, leaving one potential suitor.

For the Jaguars, though, this deal is plausible. Jacksonville has plenty of cap space, and Trevor Lawrence is at least three years away from an extension. The Jags already established that they want to surround Lawrence with weapons, which is why they signed wideout Marvin Jones Jr. and drafted running back Travis Etienne in the first round this offseason. Etienne is taking snaps at wide receiver in minicamp, suggesting that the Jaguars want to use him in a hybrid role as a runner and receiver.

That role seemed earmarked for Shenault, which opens up a trade possibility. Shenault flashed promise as a rookie, but he was drafted by the now-deposed Dave Caldwell regime in Jacksonville. The 22-year-old still has three years left on his rookie deal, which would make him a low-cost option at receiver for a Falcons team that desperately needs cost-controlled talent. Shenault is not the sort of plug-and-play downfield weapon Arthur Smith had in Tennessee, but there’s plenty to like with the Colorado player.

So, this trade might satisfy both team’s needs. The Jaguars get a true No. 1 at wideout to play alongside Jones and DJ Chark Jr. while helping Lawrence develop. The Falcons get a low-cost solution to try to start replacing Jones and a second-round pick that projects to fall in the top half of the round. It’s no fun to see a team move on from a franchise icon, but if it’s going to happen, this would be one logical way for Atlanta to clear out cap space and get valuable players in return.

Though there are certainly some similarities between Etienne and Shenault with regard to their versatility, they’re also very different players with separate skillsets. They’re far from mutually exclusive players.

But adding a proven No. 1 would give Jacksonville something it hasn’t had since Jimmy Smith was playing ball, and if it could do it for a Day 2 pick and a second-year player (albeit one who was promising as a rookie), it’s an option the Jaguars at least have to consider.

5 players who could break out for the Jags in 2021

Josh Allen wasn’t able to match his rookie season, but with a scheme more suited to his strengths, he should make a jump in 2021.

The Jacksonville Jaguars were one of the teams who went through the most drastic of changes this offseason after winning just one game last season. However, the positive part about their 2020 roster is that it was the youngest in the NFL, meaning there is a lot of upside and nowhere to go but up.

When looking at the Jags’ roster last season, there are several names from the 2020 roster who flashed, and some who didn’t, who could look even better in 2021 thanks to the new regime. Here’s a look at five of the most important ones who could drastically improve their performances from what fans witnessed a year ago:

Look: Laviska Shenault gives fans a preview of how the No. 2 would look on him

Laviska Shenault wore the No. 2 in college and high school (at times), and he could now go back to that figure due to the NFL’s new rules.

With the NFL loosening their jersey number rules, several players on the Jacksonville Jaguars roster could end up changing their numbers. Among those contemplating a change is second-year receiver Laviska Shenault Jr., who appears to have his eye on the No. 2.

On his Instagram page, he posted an edited picture with him donning the number in the Jags’ all teal combination, which may be a sign of what’s to come in the regular season.


For the fans who’ve followed Shenault, the No. 2 was the number he wore while with Colorado in college. He also wore it at times in high school as a member of the DeSoto High Eagles.

When Shenault posted his picture, some of his teammates chimed in like receivers Colin Johnson, who appeared to give the change a thumbs up, while DJ Chark suggested that his current number (10) is better.

However, according to ESPN’s Kevin Seifert, changing numbers could cost Shenault some money if he wants to do it this year. He’d have to buy out the existing inventory of jerseys with his old number, but could avoid having to pay a fee if he waited until next year and notified the league this year.

Shenault’s change this season could depend on if he has a large number of jerseys made with his current number. With young players making significantly less than the veterans, it wouldn’t be shocking to see Shenault stick with the No. 10 for 2021 to save himself some money as he plays on his rookie contract.