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Jerry Rice? Rivera calls McLaurin comparison a 'great observation'

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Terry McLaurin boasted his second 100-yard game in his last four contests on Sunday, and for the season, he ranks 6th in the NFL in catches while being the best receiver in the league in yards after the catch. 

He's off to a monster start to the 2020 season and McLaurin's play is starting to draw some serious praise. 

"When I think about McLaurin, I see a little bit of Jerry Rice and John Taylor, especially the way that he just comes in on the slant with such speed," CBS analyst James Lofton said Sunday

A Hall of Fame receiver himself, Lofton knows the position and would not throw around a comparison to Rice and Taylor lightly.

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Sunday's matchup against the Ravens was particularly impressive for McLaurin as he registered his first ever 10-catch game of his NFL career and faced a tough Baltimore secondary. 

Washington's game plan centered around a number of short, quick throws from quarterback Dwayne Haskins and a lot of slants to McLaurin. In turn, the yards-per-reception dipped, but the second-year Ohio State star proved just as effective. 

As for the comparison to Rice and Taylor, Washington head coach Ron Rivera saw the connection. 

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"That’s one thing you got to give Terry credit for, when he does catch those balls in tight areas, he does have that plant that foot and get vertical," the coach said Monday. "That’s an interesting comparison right there, that’s very high praise."

 

Rivera, speaking via the Washington Football Talk podcast, made clear he was impressed by Lofton's comment.

"Wow. That's a great observation by James, that really is."

Let's be clear, nobody is putting McLaurin on Rice's level. But both Lofton and Rivera competed against those great 49ers teams of the 1980s, and one of the great strengths of Bill Walsh's system was that receivers got to catch passes and turn upfield. 

The stats show McLaurin can do that on a high level.