In Terry McLaurin and Kelvin Harmon, the Redskins have two rookie receivers that they're hoping will inject their offense with talent and production in 2019.
The problem, unfortunately, is that first-year wideouts are about as reliable as elevators at a Metro station. Santana Moss — a very prolific pass catcher who needed a few seasons to find his groove — explained why that's the case during a recent on-air appearance for NBC Sports Washington.
"I think guys don't understand how different the game is," Moss said. "When you get here on this level, you're playing with grown men. Everybody, from the first to the fourth to the fifth [defensive back] can go out there and beat you up. Guys have to get acclimated to the speed of the game and learn how to be a pro fast at that position."
You don't have to look hard for reasons to be optimistic that McLaurin and Harmon can quickly figure things out, though.
McLaurin, the third-rounder out of Ohio State, is a burner who will have the luxury of breaking into the NFL with the quarterback he played with in college. That special trait and familiarity with Dwayne Haskins could each propel him to early success.
"You can see that they have a natural relationship throwing and catching the ball with the routes," Jay Gruden said about the duo after last Saturday's minicamp practice. "Terry is very, very impressive in these two days with his speed and his ability to get off the jams and make plays down the field. An easy guy to throw to, fast and kind of big."
"Very comfortable to know how Terry runs routes, how he grinds, and what he works for," said Haskins. "Great chemistry and we will have that on the field."
As for Harmon, he posted back-to-back strong campaigns at NC State and has a reputation for snatching everything within his grasp. A lackluster 40-yard dash largely caused him to slip into the draft's sixth round, a place the Redskins are thrilled to have landed him.
"I like his size. When you watch him on tape, you don't realize how big he is," Gruden said. "He is a very quarterback-friendly target... I had Mo Sanu at Cincinnati and he's with Atlanta now and they have a very similar skill set."
While McLaurin projects to give Washington more splash plays outside of the numbers, Harmon expects to be more involved over the middle and in contested situations. It sounds like he has the perfect attitude for that role, too.
"Always trying to bully the guy in front of me if I got to block him or win a route or sell a route being a decoy for my teammates," he told reporters on Saturday. "I’m just always trying to win every one-on-one battle."
And while Gruden compared Harmon to Sanu, Haskins had an even more favorable name on his mind.
"Kelvin is a beast. I call him baby Julio," the QB said. "He just looks like Julio Jones from how he runs his routes and how hard he works. He's a very physical guy and I’m just blessed to have him and Terry in the same class as me."
Two rookies. Two diverse skill sets. Two potential contributors.
The Redskins' receiving corps is in rough shape. McLaurin and Harmon could do a lot to adjust that. Whether that happens this year will have a lot to do with how well they adjust from Saturdays to Sundays.
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