NFL.com’s Cynthia Frelund has been doing some super interesting analytics based work for a while now, and she took a stab at building a mock draft this week.
Cynthia says this simulation is data and context driven, built on years of information with each pick attempting to improve the teams’ win total in the very next season. Cynthia’s model had the Cowboys selecting Colorado wide out Laviska Shenault, someone who isn’t exactly a household Cowboys Twitter name.
“With 1,060 yards after the catch since 2018 (most in the Pac-12), Shenault’s ability to create first downs lands him here with Dak Prescott (and likely a veteran receiver who doesn’t command a premium salary). If you want to know why my model likes him so much, go back and watch his 2018 film. This past season, nagging injuries and a new coaching staff sapped his production.”
Taking a look at Laviska’s game, it’s easy to see how he could potentially fit into the Cowboys offense. Shenault has a big frame, strong hands, and excellent speed and quickness. He has the ability to break big plays down the field, and lined up all over the offense in college.
Also, #Colorado WR Laviska Shenault is a cheat code. Only a true sophomore, but he has some special to him. Body control, twitchy reflexes, sticky hands.
Shenault is scheduled to have surgery on a core muscle, which will keep him from training for the next four to six weeks. Still, he should be ready to go by training camp for whichever team ends up drafting him.
Laviska Shenault’s name hasn’t been linked to the Cowboys much as of late, and fans certainly have other receiver’s on their mind for the 17th overall pick.
Regardless, it’s interesting to see how Cynthia’s model predicts the optimal selection for each team.