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First round of NFL draft passes without CU Buffs’ Laviska Shenault

Former WR likely to hear name during second, third rounds Friday

University of Colorado's Laviska Shenault goes ...
Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer
Former University of Colorado wide receiver Laviska Shenault was not among the players at the position to be picked in the first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday.

Laviska Shenault will have to wait at least another day to hear his name called.

The star receiver from the Colorado Buffaloes generally is viewed as a player with first-round talent, but a history of injuries and late surgery following the February draft combine to repair a nagging core muscle injury perhaps conspired against Shenault on Thursday, as the first round of an NFL Draft conducted virtually did not include the CU junior.

Shenault is likely to hear his name on Friday, as the second and third rounds unfold beginning at 5 p.m. MT. Rounds four through seven will be held Saturday beginning at 10 a.m. MT. CU has not boasted a first-round pick since 2011, when tackle Nate Solder (17th overall, New England) and defensive back Jimmy Smith (27th, Baltimore) both were selected in the opening round.

At 6-foot-1 and 225 pounds, Shenault has the prototypical frame for an NFL receiver, and despite dealing with injuries for the bulk of his career he made a habit of running roughshod over smaller opponents. Over the past two seasons, Shenault caught 142 passes for 1,775 yards and 10 touchdowns. He added another 276 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground, proving to be a dependable weapon out of the wildcat formation in short-yardage situations.

But Shenault often struggled to stay on the field. In 2018, he missed three games and played at less than 100% after returning. He had surgery after that season to repair a torn labrum as well as a toe injury. Last season, Shenault was injured early in the fourth game of the season at Arizona State and missed the next game against Arizona.

Still, teams in need of a receiver probably will not wait long to turn to Shenault on Friday. A total of six receivers were selected in the first round Thursday, led by Alabama’s Henry Ruggs III going 12th overall to the Raiders. That list of first-round wideouts also included the Crimson Tide’s Jerry Jeudy to the Broncos at No. 15, Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb to Dallas at No. 17, TCU’s Jalen Reagor to Philadelphia at No. 21, LSU’s Justin Jefferson to Minnesota at No. 22, and Arizona State’s Brandon Aiyuk to San Francisco at No. 25.

Aiyuk was the third and final Pac-12 Conference player selected in the first round. He was preceded by Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert, who was selected sixth overall by the Los Angeles Chargers, and USC tackle Austin Jackson, who was selected by Miami at No. 18.