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The Jacksonville Jaguars are primed for the most exciting season in franchise history. Man, does it feel good to say that!
The Jaguars have invested a lot in the playmaking department, making several moves at key skill positions to bolster its offense. With a rookie quarterback in Trevor Lawrence now in the fold, having an abundance of weapons at his arsenal is of the utmost importance.
For Lawrence, having a player like Laviska Shenault is going to make his life that much easier.
Entering his second season, Shenault has become one of the focal points of the offseason when it comes to the team’s receiver group. A player that caught 58 receptions for 600 yards and five touchdowns last year, Shenault is expected to make a major leap in terms of production, and if his performances during the team’s OTAs thus far this offseason is any indication, that’s exactly what he will do.
Earlier this week, Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer went as far as to say that Shenault is one of the team’s best playmakers, and it appears the role for him will be something to watching as the year progresses.
“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,” said Meyer. “He’s a great puzzle piece for us to have on offense, plus his attitude every day is fantastic.”
The Jaguars have a couple of players who can play multiple roles on offense with Shenault and running back Travis Etienne, who was selected 25th overall. Like Shenault, Etienne will be tasked with doing more than his primary responsibilities will be. Though, the team does want to use Shenault as a true receiver more often than he was last year, he will no doubt be a player Meyer simply wants to get the ball to.
One veteran the team brought in to help ease the transition for Lawrence, along with bolstering the receiving corp as a whole was former Detroit Lions receiver Marvin Jones. Jones, heading into his 10th year in the NFL has seen the potential of the group, including Shenault himself.
“We’ve spent a lot of time together, probably almost two months now, so it’s been good,” Jones said in May. “Everybody’s going around flying fast and making big plays as we should and as we knew we were going to do. There’s a lot of people, a lot of receivers in our group that can have different abilities and can put them in different places.
“You put Laviska [Shenault Jr.] in the backfield and watch him work and stuff like that. Everybody’s been great and everybody’s been taking the coaching and just having a good time. So, we’re just going to continue to do that.”
Time will tell how many targets ultimately land in the hands of Shenault this season, but given his size, speed and strength, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him as one of, if not the most productive receiver on the team, one of the team’s best playmakers.