Latest in a Packers Prospects series looking at players Green Bay could select in the April 23-25 NFL draft.
GREEN BAY - Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur likes versatility when it comes to wide receivers, having players who can line up in any spot in any formation and be effective without substitution. Colorado receiver Laviska Shenault might fit that category, as does the run-after-the-catch style he showed in college.
But Shenault has suffered – and played through – several injuries in his college career, the latest of which being a core muscle injury he had surgery to repair after the NFL scouting combine. The lack of a medical re-check could affect how the team views him, but the procedure was reportedly done by Dr. William Meyers, who also performed similar operations on Geronimo Allison, Robert Tonyan and others.
His competitiveness and toughness, however, will likely be considered a plus if the doctors feel his recovery is on schedule.
Age next season: 21.
Combine vitals: 4.58-second 40-yard dash, 17 bench press reps, 31 7/8-inch arms.
Stats: 204 slot snaps in 2018, 4.9% drop rate, 150 career catches.
Pro Football Focus analysis: Shenault showed a penchant for the big play as a true freshman in 2017, catching seven of his 10 targets for 168 receiving yards. ... Despite a toe injury that kept him out of several games and a torn labrum that he played through in the final week of (2018) the sophomore receiver caught 87 passes for 1,019 yards and six touchdowns. … In 2019 he earned his third consecutive receiving grade north of 85.0. He is at his best with the ball in his hands in the open field. Shenault averaged over seven yards after the catch per reception in his college career, and his 44 missed tackles forced over the last two seasons lead the draft class.
Draftniks say: “He’ll do anything. Put me on a reverse, fine. Put me in the backfield, great. Put me in the slot, put me out at X, put me at Y, Z, wherever you want me coach I’ll go and I’ll compete. I think (the core surgery is) a minor setback. I really do. There’s so much tape of him, there’s so much versatility to his game that I don’t think it’s going to affect him greatly. … I think what you’re trying to do in the league today and have multiple pieces and be able to create some personnel mismatches without substitution players on and off the field so you can run tempo, I think he fits really well.” – ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay
Quotable: “Well, being in college first off, you don't really get to take care of your body as much as you can when you get to the league, as far as money and time. You're always busy in college; you don't have as much time to take care of your body as you want to. So, I know for sure that being into the next level, I can take care of my body way more and get better medical attention.” – Shenault on how he addressed his injury history.