Plenty went wrong for the Redskins in their season-opening loss to the Eagles, but not when it comes to the debut of rookies Terry McLaurin, Kelvin Harmon and Cole Holcomb.
Impressive throughout training camp, most Redskins fans did not know what to expect from McLaurin since he barely played in the preseason. The third-round pick out of Ohio State delivered in a big way in Philadelphia, catching five passes for 125 yards and a touchdown in the loss, including a 69-yard bomb for a score. McLaurin narrowly missed another deep touchdown catch on a ball that was just overthrown.
When the Redskins cut former first-round pick Josh Doctson last week, head coach Jay Gruden explained that McLaurin's emergence made the decision much easier. On Sunday, he proved why, mixing speed and technique and showing he can get it done at the highest level. In three years in Washington, Doctson never had a 100-yard game. McLaurin did it in his first opportunity.
Harmon also played well though didn't make the same impact as McLaurin. The former NC State receiver turned sixth-round pick caught both passes thrown his way for 31 yards and showed to be a capable blocker, and did all of that on just 15 snaps.
On the other side of the ball, linebacker Cole Holcomb showed out in his first NFL game. A fifth-round pick from North Carolina, Holcomb ended up getting the start for the Redskins lined up alongside Jon Bostic, and led the team in tackles. In fact, Holcomb did more than that, according to Pro Football Focus.
Couple of nice plays here from #Redskins LB Cole Holcomb. He finished with 7 total defensive stops which was tied for the most among ALL defenders in week 1, per @PFF. Pretty solid start for a rookie drafted in the fifth round. #HTTR pic.twitter.com/ZzyEPgNawh— Nick Akridge (@PFF_NickAkridge) September 10, 2019
It's good that Holcomb and McLaurin performed so well. The Redskins also drafted a pair of first-round picks this year, and neither had the dream debut. 15th overall pick Dwayne Haskins didn't play, he served as the backup to Case Keenum, but that is part of the Redskins long-term plan for the passer. Outside linebacker Montez Sweat registered five tackles, but was part of a defensive front that generated no real pass rush throughout the Eagles game. Washington needs a lot more from Sweat.
Of the other draft picks this season, only seventh-rounder Jimmy Moreland played. He was largely blamed for a miscommunication on DeSean Jackson's second touchdown. Offensive linemen Wes Martin and Ross Pierschbacher were inactive and the other seventh-rounder, Jordan Brailford, went on injured reserve last week.
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