Football Team

Washington's most impactful players of 2020: Terry McLaurin

Football Team

The Washington Football Team's 2020 season was a memorable one filled with impactful performances. Over the next two weeks, NBC Sports Washington's Ethan Cadeaux and Ryan Homler will take a look at 10 players who provided the biggest impact. Next up: Terry McLaurin.

The 2019 season was a mostly forgettable season for the Washington Football team. The franchise went 3-13, started multiple different quarterbacks and had its head coach fired midseason. It truly was one of the worst seasons in franchise history.

However, one of the few silver linings from that lost 2019 season was the unexpected emergence of wide receiver Terry McLaurin. The third-round pick finished his rookie season with 919 receiving yards, just seven short of tying Gary Clark's franchise record. As a rookie, McLaurin provided Washington with something it desperately needed: a No. 1 wide receiver.

Entering the 2020 season, expectations were through the roof for McLaurin. Pardon the cliché, but in this case, it fits. After his breakout rookie campaign, McLaurin had put the league on notice. The former Ohio State star would not sneak up on any team in his second season.

This past offseason, Washington knew it needed to get McLaurin help. The club tried to upgrade its receiving corps by signing Cowboys star Amari Cooper. It didn't work out. After missing on Cooper, Washington elected to address its offensive needs with low-risk high-reward signings like J.D. McKissic and Logan Thomas. While both of those players ended up being solid editions, it also wasn't enough to take the pressure off the wide-receiver corps. 


Despite all of that, McLaurin exceeded all expectations placed on him entering the season. The wideout finished the 2020 campaign with 87 receptions for 1,118 receiving yards, both team highs, and four receiving touchdowns, second on the team to Thomas.

To put what McLaurin did in perspective, consider this. Washington had six other wide receivers catch at least one pass in 2020. Those six players COMBINED for just 107 catches, 1,142 yards, and four receiving touchdowns.

In other words, McLaurin was responsible for nearly half of Washington's wide receiver production. That's incredible.

Download and subscribe to the Washington Football Talk podcast

Keep in mind, too, that Washington started four different quarterbacks in 2020. There was little continuity from week to week. Even so, McLaurin was productive - like WR1 productive. It didn't matter who was throwing him the ball.

While McLaurin has established himself as a true No. 1 wide receiver, Washington will likely be in the mix for some of the sport's top free agents at the position. The wide receiver class is unusually deep this spring, with names like Chicago's Allen Robinson, Detroit's Kenny Golladay and Tampa Bay's Chris Godwin headlining the class.

In today's pass-happy league, elite teams almost always have more than one elite pass-catcher. Look at Kansas City, which had two All-Pro players last season in Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. Tampa Bay's trio of Godwin, Mike Evans and Antonio Brown was among the league's best. Buffalo had two receivers -- Stefon Diggs and Cole Beasley -- who each made one of the NFL's All-Pro squads.

McLaurin was really, really, really good in 2020. But, if he gets a little help at his position this offseason, the 25-year-old could be great for Washington in 2021.