Pros and Cons to the Chicago Bears trading for Laviska Shenault Jr.

Dakota Zientek
Laviska Shenault Jr., Chicago Bears (Mandatory Credit: Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports)
Laviska Shenault Jr., Chicago Bears (Mandatory Credit: Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Chicago Bears, Laviska Shenault Jr.
Chicago Bears (Mandatory Credit: Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports) /

The argument in favor of the Chicago Bears trading for Laviska Shenault Jr.

As said prior, Shenault’s size is a focal point, as well as a need for the Chicago Bears.

Outside the likely gone Allen Robinson, the tallest receiver for the Chicago Bears is Darnell Mooney, who stands 5’11”. Now, sure, 6’1″ and 5’11” aren’t on opposite sides of the height spectrum, but that extra height helps on the outside.

Having Shenault and Mooney on the outside gives them some height that they could really use, while they also have the speed to use in the middle of the field when they need.

Now, Laviska Shenault isn’t a speed demon, having an official 4.58 40-yard dash time, but he’s a receiver that runs hard and isn’t an easy tackle, especially for corners. That’s a good quality to have, especially given the type of receiver Shenault’s been in his two years in the league.

Along with his ability to run defenses, and also seen in the video above, he’s a dynamic offensive weapon that can line up in different spots of the field.

Now, I’m not sure if that’s what he’d do with the Chicago Bears, but it shows that there’s a comfort level from Shenault that he’d be willing to do what’s likely going to be a common thing across the league since the 49ers’ Deebo Samuels found success with it.

It’s been evident throughout the history of the NFL that when something works and defenses– or offenses– can’t stop it, exploit it. And given that the NFL is absolutely a copy-cat league at times, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Shenault, if brought to Chicago, being seen as an offensive weapon more than a true wide receiver.

So, looking at Shenault’s stats through his two seasons in Jacksonville, they need to be looked at under a fair microscope.

His first season was under Doug Marrone with Gardner Minshew II and Mike Glennon (1-15-0 record), and his second season was under one of the NFL’s most questionable coaches of all time in Urban Meyer and rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence (3-14-0). I bring this up because, as is fair, Laviska’s production shouldn’t be seen as just his potential; rather, it should be seen as his potential under poor management.

Laviska Shenault career stats

  • 2020: 58 receptions/79 targets, 73.4% catch percentage, 600 yards, 5 TDs
  • 2021: 63 receptions, 100 targets, 63% catch percentage, 619 yards, 0 TDs

While his stats don’t jump off the page, there’s a lot of untapped potential in Shenault’s game that would pair very well with Justin Fields and the direction of the Chicago Bears’ offense moving forward.

To give context as to how “impressive” these stats are, Shenault only trailed Marvin Jones Jr. (832 yards) among Jaguars receivers in yards on the season.

Is there still work to be done? Of course, there is, but given his first two seasons were full of unavoidable adversity, he could be a very decent option for the Chicago Bears to acquire since the top options have thinned out.

Those are the positives, and while they’re nice, let’s take a look at the not-so-positive things about Laviska Shenault Jr. being traded to the Chicago Bears.