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How Laviska Shenault could thrive in the Eagles’ offense

Looking at the top wide receiver prospects and how they could fit in Philly.

NCAA Football: Colorado State at Colorado Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Previously in profiling how 2020 NFL Draft wide receiver prospects fit with the Philadelphia EaglesJerry Jeudy | Henry Ruggs III | CeeDee Lamb | Tee Higgins | Justin Jefferson. Today we’re looking at Laviska Shenault.

Laviska Shenault fell out of favor in the NFL draft community after an underwhelming Combine but there is no doubt that he is still among the ten best receivers in this class. Of course, the most pressing question here is whether or not he can contribute in Philadelphia.

On tape, Laviska Shenault is one of the most unique and fun to watch players in the catch. Shenault is built like a power back at 6’1”, 227 pounds; about the same size as Jordan Howard coming out of college. Shenault plays how he looks: he is a tough as hell receiver who is a bully before, during and after the catch. With the ball in his hands, he plays like he wants to punish defenders and he has the strength to do it. Cornerbacks mistakenly think they can man up with Shenault due to his lack of vertical speed, but he’ll just bench press them at the line of scrimmage. Laviska’s game can be described as anything but polished, but that’s because his physical gifts and playing style are so dominant on their own.

The biggest question with Shenault at this juncture is his health. He has a laundry list of injuries in his history and his rough-and-tumble playing style invites a lot of wear and tear. If he can stay healthy, the follow up question is how quickly he can translate to the NFL.

I am optimistic about (healthy) Shenault’s NFL transition. While he has spots he needs to improve in terms of his route running; his toughness, dependable hands and YAC ability means a team should not have a ton of trouble trying to find an early role for him. He has experience at every receiver position, but might find his home in the NFL as a big slot receiver. He would overpower the nickel cornerbacks and safeties trying to cover him and outrun the linebackers who might have the misfortune of lining up over him. For the Eagles, the hope is being able to feed the ball to him on short passes, screens, sweeps and handoffs as a sort of offensive weapon akin to Deebo Samuel last year.

Hopefully this early production and usage won’t stunt his growth and Laviska Shenault will grow his polish as a route runner. I am unsure if he could ever thrive as an outside receiver in the NFL, but he could be a unique weapon for a creative offensive mind …


Should the Eagles draft Laviska Shenault?

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