2020 NFL Draft Early Look: Laviska Shenault
Since the quiet portion of the NFL offseason is in full swing, this part of the summer is the ideal time to get an eye on prospects who could be available in the upcoming draft class. Over the summer months, Bigboardscouting.com will be highlighting a line up of top prospects in the 2020 Draft with preliminary scouting notes that will be featured in our “Early Look” Series. The first prospect that we will be breaking down is Laviska Shenault, WR, Colorado.
Listed at 6’2 220.
Consistent muscle tone directed through his body, but he is not maxed out. Has an average height for an NFL WR.
Where Shenault Impresses:
Shenualt is a tremendously menacing matchup threat on the offensive side of the ball, as he possesses rare alignment versatility and showcases a consistent knack for making big time, game altering plays. In Colorado’s offensive scheme, Shenault is utilized from the slot and the perimeter, but can also be stationed as the H-Back, RB, in wildcat formation, and in motion. He thrives off of touches that are generated to allow him to get his hands on the ball early in the play, such as jet sweeps and designs that are put in place to take advantage of his ranging skillset.
Ability to Uncover-
When releasing off the line of scrimmage, Shenault is able to access his speed and load up some juice into his route stem. He is patient, but urgent in his attack while utilizing different step counts in his releases to defeat press coverage. In his routes, he is able to re-leverage DBs with lean in his stem in order to bait the defender into over-playing the route, which allows Shenault to gain ground and pull away vs coverage. At the breaking point of his route, he snaps his hips and drives off his plant foot to gain more ground out of his change of direction, while showing spurts of sinking his hips. Shenault also has stack and separate capabilities along the vertical plane, and can sell a deep route with vertical push then integrate deceleration to come under the DB. He effectively deploys a rocker step at the top of his stem, and has the knowledge to attack coverage voids as a route runner.
The highly productive offensive piece offers stability and craftiness in this area, and can complete the process from multiple different leverages and locations. Shenault possesses the naturally effective hands that are a trademark trait of a top tier WR, as well as an aptness in enclosing the football from an extended reach on the exterior of his frame. Flashes of exceptional ability in traffic appear on tape, and it is apparent that he has a knowledge of how to utilize his body positioning to “box out” defenders. When evaluating his tape, one of the more clear aspects of his talent spectrum is his innate ball tracking skills. Shenault can locate the drop point, contort his frame with body control, and properly reach the catch point in order to connect on the opportunity. Lastly, he is able to extend and corral the ball at the high point instead of waiting on the ball in a stagnant position.
Athleticism/Ability After the Catch-
Laviska Shenault offers top level movement skills and is fluid in his lower half, which allows him to retain suddenness and a high amount of change of direction quickness. When it comes to yardage creation with the ball in his hand, the dynamic Colorado pass catcher has a developed feel for seperating from defenders as a runner and putting the ball in the painted area. On shorter routes such as screens and flat routes, Laviska has the athleticism and running style to bring it to the house.
When he transitions to the next level, he will present a consistent RAC threat due to his reactionary athleticism, his straight line speed, evasion moves, contact balance, and his plus ability to make analyzations of the block layout so that he can carve out an optimized run path.
Biggest Area He Needs To Work On:
Laviska is a thorough receiver, but he has some room to improve how consistently he sinks his hips and gains a lowered pad level into his lateral transitions. If he shows more consistency in that area, then Shenault will have even more effectiveness when attempting to uncover.
In the current blueprint of multiple NFL teams, we see decision makers acquiring dynamic matchup threats who offer a high quantity of playmaking ability that is aimed towards debilitating the defensive personnel. Laviska Shenault fits the mold that multiple clubs are trying to get their hands on, and he will offer a day one impact as a well rounded receiver with extreme line-up versatility. He fits as an outside and inside WR, and his mixture of separation ability, hand strength at the catch point, and RAC capabilities will open up the pro offense that he is drafted into. His next season at Colorado should be a productive one, and he will have the opportunity to solidify his stock with the product that he puts on the field.