4 Carolina Panthers players trending towards draft bust status in 2023

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) C.J. Henderson
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) C.J. Henderson /
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Carolina Panthers
(James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports) Laviska Shenault Jr. /

Laviska Shenault Jr. – Carolina Panthers WR

  • No. 42 overall selection (2020)

While Laviska Shenault Jr. wasn’t picked by the Carolina Panthers, they did think enough of the wide receiver to acquire him via trade from the Jacksonville Jaguars. A move that could still go either way after an indifferent first campaign with the franchise.

Shenault was brought along gradually as he got to grips with Ben McAdoo’s system. The No. 42 overall selection in 2020 did flash moments of quality, but it wasn’t consistent enough en route to 27 receptions for 272 receiving yards and one touchdown.

The Panthers didn’t give up much for Shenault. But what role he’ll have under Frank Reich in 2023 is dependent on how the head coach perceives his talent in a competitive setting.

There is enough explosiveness and ability to generate yards after the catch to indicate more involvement could arrive. But if the Colorado product cannot become more effective, then a situation could emerge where Carolina cuts him loose after his contract expires in 2024.

Shenault came into the NFL with a glowing reputation as someone that could become a legitimate No. 1 wide receiver. It hasn’t materialized as yet and based on the player’s current path, he might never reach these objectives in Carolina or elsewhere.

Not everyone is built to be elite. But there’s nothing to suggest Reich cannot get more out of Shenault provided everything goes well during the upcoming preparation period.