Jaguars provide help for QB Gardner Minshew, select Colorado WR Laviska Shenault in second round

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Jaguars addressed a need to put more offensive weapons around quarterback Gardner Minshew on Day 2 of the NFL draft by selecting Colorado wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr., with the 42nd overall pick in the second round Friday.

It was the Jaguars’ first offensive selection in the draft. They addressed their defensive needs on Day 1, selecting Florida cornerback CJ Henderson with the ninth overall pick and LSU edge rusher/outside linebacker K’Lavon Chaisson with the 20th pick in the first round.

In three seasons with Colorado, Shenault caught 149 passes for 1,943 yards and has 18 career touchdowns. He averaged 30.1 yards on his touchdowns. Shenault scored a rushing and receiving touchdown in the same game five times during his career. His eight 100-yard receiving games were the fifth-most in school history.

At 6-foot-1, 227 pounds, Shenault is physically gifted with speed. He can play either slot receiver or on the outside.

“He had a very productive 2018 season,” said Mark Ellenz, the Jaguars director of college scouting. “This season his production was a little further down. He dealt with a shoulder injury, but came back and played through it and then he dealt with a core muscle injury.

The Jaguars need a playmaker to be paired with DJ Chark, who made the Pro Bowl last season. The Jaguars ranked 20th in total offense (341.8), 26th in scoring and 31st in red zone scoring percentage for touchdowns last season.

Before their Day 2 second-round selection, Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell acknowledged that he didn’t feel there was pressure to add playmaking offensive players.

“We do feel like Gardner does have weapons,’ Caldwell said. “We do have one Pro Bowl receiver (DJ Chark). We have a former Pro Bowl tight end that we acquired (in Tyler Eifert). We have a young tight (in Josh Oliver) that’s going into his second year that we think has a high ceiling. We did have a running back (Leonard Fournette) that was sixth in the league in yards from scrimmage last year, and we have a really good slot receiver (in Dede Westbrook) and two other receivers in Keelan Cole and Chris Conley on the other side.

“From a skill position, we’re better than what we had when we went to the AFC Championship Game in 2017, if you look at what we were playing with at that point in time.”


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