Laviska Shenault 2021 Fantasy Outlook to Explode in Urban Meyer's 'Percy Harvin Role' - Roto Street Journal
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Laviska Shenault 2021 Fantasy Outlook to Explode in Urban Meyer’s ‘Percy Harvin Role’

As we know by now, elite college coaches do not always translate to wins in the NFL. However, from a fantasy perspective, an offensive scheme (see: Kliff Kingsbury, Chip Kelly) can translate to fantasy points in the NFL. While Urban Meyer’s offensive philosophy has mostly stayed the same throughout his career, he’s always done a good job of adapting his offense to the strength of his quarterback and the surrounding playmakers.

When Meyer recruited elite, twitchy talents such as Percy HarvinCurtis Samuel, and Parris Campbell, he’s utilized them in the “Percy Havin role,” otherwise known as the “H-back” or “Pivot” position to form mismatches against opposing defenses. When looking at the Jaguars’ offense, there’s one name who comes to mind whose 2021 fantasy outlook could explode in this position: Laviska Shenault.

Kyle Jones of 11 Warriors defined the “H-back” role as: “The name for the primary slot receiver in the Buckeye offense. Traditionally, backs and receivers are assigned letters for play-calling purposes, with the split receiver that lines up on the line (split end) given X, the tight end Y, and the receiver off the line (or flanker) Z.”

Standing at 6-foot-1, 227 lbs, and running a 4.58 40-yd dash, nobody would ever confuse Shenault for the electric Harvin, Samuel, or Campbell. But, Shenault brings a different, more violent running style with the ball in his hands and possesses similar versatility.

During Shenault’s rookie season, he dealt with some horrid quarterback play. Still, he improved his route running throughout the season and finished the year strong. The rookie totaled 58 receptions for 600 yards and five touchdowns on 79 targets. He also added 91 yards on 18 carries.

As a sophomore at Colorado, Shenault calculated 1,126 total yards from scrimmage and 11 scores. He then totaled 925 yards from scrimmage as a junior, with six touchdowns. While he left Boulder with “only” 280 yards and seven touchdowns on 42 carries, it’s clear he’s a beast with the ball in his hands and could be better suited for the NFL’s physicality than Harvin, Samuel, and Campbell.

Under Meyer, Harvin exploded 1,622 yards and 10 touchdowns from scrimmage in 2007 and 1,304 yards and 17 touchdowns during his encore collegiate season. In 2016 at Ohio State, Samuel totaled 1,636 yards and 15 touchdowns from scrimmage. Which were a very even 771 yards rushing and 865 receiving. Campbell served up 716 total yards and four touchdowns from scrimmage in 2017, then added another 1,087 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2018. Campbell didn’t necessarily get the high number of direct handoffs that Samuel and Harvin benefited from, but he cashed in on “tap passes” (think Tyreek Hill on the goal line) and slip screens.

With Trevor LawrenceDJ CharkJames Robinson, and a couple of other weapons, it will be tough for defenses to key Urban’s new toy.

While Meyer’s arrival in Jacksonville might not translate to wins, he will create mismatches on the regular and Shenault will be his Swiss Army Knife in some sort of “Percy Harvin role” in his spread offense. It’s safe to expect over 1,000 yards of total offense and a handful of highlights from Shenault in 2021.

“I feel like both running back and receiver because I can motion off running back to receiver and go to the linebacker, which is a mismatch,” Samuel said in 2016. “Or I could go to receiver and play against a safety, a corner or a linebacker, which I feel like is still a mismatch. I feel comfortable at both positions.”

Expect Shenault to shoot up The Wolf’s 2021 Big Board and Rankings.

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