Laviska Shenault – Part 1 – College Evaluation

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Laviska Shenault is a name you will begin hearing as a potential first-round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, and he provides a unique profile that had the RotoHeat team divided on his future outlook.

Athletic Ability: 7.8/10

Right off the bat, the RotoHeat rookie evaluators had some different opinions on Shenault’s athletic ability, as he received ratings that ranged from 6.5 – 9.5 in this area. There is no doubt that Laviska is an athlete, as he showed the ability to line up all over the field, including some action as an H-back and in the Wildcat formation. While his tape didn’t necessarily show freak athleticism, he was regularly getting behind the defense and running away with big plays, showing off above-average speed.

Toughness: 6.7/10

In his lowest rated area, Shenault took some dings in toughness as he didn’t appear particularly interested in engaging as a blocker most of the time, nor did he show a ton of ability to break tackles. In what may be his biggest question mark from NFL teams, he also has been plagued by injuries in his college career including a torn labrum, a toe injury that required surgery, and a core muscle injury – all of which resulted in Shenault only playing in 27 games in three seasons at Colorado.

DENVER, CO – AUGUST 31, 2018: University of Colorado’s Lavish Shenault Jr. runs the ball after making a catch during the Rocky Mountain Showdown football game against Colorado State University on Friday at Bronco’s Stadium at Mile High in Denver. (Photo by Jeremy Papasso/Digital First Media Group/Boulder Daily Camera via Getty Images)

Hands: 7.3/10

As was the case with a lot of his film, Shenault displayed an above-average ability to catch the ball, but lacked plays that would show that his hands are elite by any means. He did show soft hands on a number of deep balls in 2019, and could also catch the ball out of the backfield which is an entirely different skillset than making an over-the-shoulder catch. In 2019, it seemed that too often his quarterback was struggling to get the ball to him in stride which resulted in some balls careening off his hands.

YAC (Yards After Catch): 7.3/10

Being used all over the field, Laviska had plenty of opportunities to run with the ball in his hands. Routinely, he got behind the defense even though his speed doesn’t appear to be outstanding on tape. Running a lot of crossers and screens also provided him those opportunities, and he usually was able to capitalize with good gains.

Route Running: 6.7/10

In a difficult area to assess due to the nature of Colorado’s poor offense overall, Shenault had games where he seemed to only run short crossing routes or bubble screens, while other games displayed his ability to be a vertical threat. He also seemed to get lazy in his route running if he wasn’t the primary read. Shenault’s route tree overall is somewhat lacking, and his limitations were on display in college. At the next level, we will get to truly see if he lacks the ability to run a full route tree, or if he was a product of a bad college offense.