Terry McLaurin

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Terry McLaurin ranked above AJ Green, Adam Thielen as top WRs entering 2020 season

Terry McLaurin ranked above AJ Green, Adam Thielen as top WRs entering 2020 season

Terry McLaurin had an outstanding season for the Washington Football Team in 2019, a campaign that ultimately ended just eight yards short of breaking Gary Clark's franchise rookie record.

Based on the eye test and his numbers alone, it's easy to see why Washington is so excited about the second-year pass-catcher for years to come. But if those two things weren't enough to convince you that McLaurin is going to be a star, the advanced analytics will change your mind.

Pro Football Focus has ranked McLaurin as the 13th-best wide receiver entering the 2020 season, ahead of former Pro Bowl pass-catchers Adam Thielen, T.Y. Hilton and A.J. Green, to name a few.

Here's what the advanced analytics website had to say about the Washington pass-catcher:

McLaurin had one of the biggest surprise rookie seasons in recent memory last year. The former third-round pick earned an 86.5 receiving grade, sixth in the league, but it was also the second-best grade we have ever given to a rookie wide receiver. He is an advanced route-runner who can separate downfield at a high rate — he generated separation at the sixth-highest rate in the league on targets of 10-plus yards downfield against single coverage last year. McLaurin averaged 2.05 yards per route run last year, 14th among wide receivers, and he did that despite seeing the second-lowest rate of accurate targets among rookie wide receivers. If Dwayne Haskins can take that next step forward, McLaurin figures to be a force to be reckoned with in Washington.

As the blurb mentioned, McLaurin exceeded all expectations as a rookie in 2019. His 58 catches and 919 receiving yards were by-far a team-high. The third-round pick's seven receiving touchdowns were responsible for almost half of Washington's touchdowns in 2019 via the pass.

PFF took notice of McLaurin's production in 2019 despite the little help he had around him. McLaurin earned an 86.5 receiving grade a year ago, which was the sixth-best mark in the league. That rating was the third-highest overall grade of any rookie last season.

But of all the advanced analytic stats, this one is perhaps the most impressive one: In PFF's history, only Odell Beckham Jr. in 2014 had a higher-graded rookie season than McLaurin had a year ago. 

RELATED: MCLAURIN, NOT AMARI COOPER, WAS PFF'S HIGHEST-GRADED WR IN THE NFC EAST IN 2019

The last part of PFF's breakdown of McLaurin is what will likely determine the second-year wideout's success the most. While Washington head coach Ron Rivera has yet to name Dwayne Haskins the starter, many signs point towards the 23-year-old being Washington's starter in Week 1.

Once Haskins became Washington's starter midway through the season, he and McLaurin began to form a solid duo before injuries prematurely ended both of their rookie campaigns. The connection between the two can be traced back to 2016, when they first became teammates at Ohio State.

Now in Washington, no two players on offense mean more to both the short- and long-term success of the Football Team's offense than Haskins and McLaurin.

McLaurin was a third-round pick and saw 11 other pass-catchers hear them name called before Washington eventually selected him 74th overall in 2019. When Washington picked No. 17, they knew they were getting a speedy wide receiver with excellent character and a fantastic special teamer.

One year later, they have one of the league's brightest rising stars in the game, a player all the other 31 teams would love to have.

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Washington joins an ugly list when it comes to NFL Top 100

Washington joins an ugly list when it comes to NFL Top 100

The Washington Football Team landed zero players on the NFL Top 100, the annual list of the best players in the sport.

That's upsetting but reasonable. The team went 3-13 last year and fired almost every person associated with the performance. 

What's worse, however, is the other teams that did not have a single player make the NFL Top 100: Jacksonville, Miami, Detroit, Cincinnati, and the New York Jets. Those teams stink. That's the dregs of the league, and largely has been for a while. 

Well, Washington fans, welcome to the club. 

RELATED: NFL 100 LIST IS SAD BUT FAIR FOR WASHINGTON

It's tough for some Burgundy and Gold faithful to accept their position among the worst teams in the NFL, but it's the truth. Maybe Ron Rivera can turn things around, but without even considering all the other controversy surrounding the team off the football field, the on-field performance has been largely dreadful for more than 20 years. 

Need an example? One playoff win this century should do it. 

But hey, things are bad enough in 2020, let's look ahead. Rivera often talks about wanting to take this team forward, and perhaps when that happens, some Washington players could crank the Top 100. 

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Chase Young would be at the top of that list. If he's close to as good as people expect, he will make the NFL Top 100. That could happen by next season even if he breaks out this fall as a rookie. Double-digit sacks would get him there. 

Terry McLaurin is another logical candidate. He went for nearly 1,000 receiving yards as a rookie despite missing two games. Another explosive performance from TMC this year could get him on the Top 100, particularly with the way veterans around the league appreciate his approach to the game. 

There are other candidates - Montez Sweat, Jon Allen, Daron Payne, Ryan Kerrigan, Landon Collins - but none have the clear path to the list like Young or McLaurin. If those guys can perform close or above expectations this fall, then Washington will be back on the list in 2021. 

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Terry McLaurin's disappointing 82 overall highlights Washington's leaked Madden 21 ratings

Terry McLaurin's disappointing 82 overall highlights Washington's leaked Madden 21 ratings

EA Sports is slowly unveiling its player ratings for Madden NFL 21 this week. While the game has yet to formally announced many of them thus far, each team's 10 highest-rated players were leaked to Madden School on Monday.

Washington had no players rated an 88 overall or higher, and for a team that's coming off a 3-13 season, that makes sense. However, a few of the ratings will certainly upset some Washington fans.

Standout wide receiver Terry McLaurin, who finished the 2019 season just nine yards short of breaking the franchise's rookie receiving record, comes in at an 82 overall. For a player who accomplished plenty a year ago with little help around him -- not to mention playing with three different quarterbacks -- that rating appears to be quite low.

For comparison, McLaurin's 82 rating is lower than Buffalo's Cole Beasley (83), Cincinnati's Tyler Boyd (83), Philadelphia's Alshon Jeffery (84), New York's Golden Tate (84) and Pittsburgh's JuJu Smith-Schuster (86).

Of all those pass-catchers, only Boyd had more yards than McLaurin last season. He did so on nearly 50 more targets. McLaurin's seven receiving touchdowns were the highest of the bunch, too.

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On the other hand, running back Derrius Guice received a generous 81 overall rating, despite only playing in five games last season. Guice has displayed his tremendous talent when he's been on the field, but the running back has missed 27 of a possible 32 games over his first two NFL seasons and has had three separate knee surgeries.

Madden appears to have an affinity for the third-year running back, who also appeared in the game's promotional trailer last month.

With Trent Williams no longer in Washington, guard Brandon Scherff now has the crown for Washington's reported highest-rated player. The three-time Pro Bowler was rated an 87 overall, a one-point decrease from where he finished the 2019 season.

RELATED: SCHERFF, WASHINGTON WON'T DISCUSS LONG-TERM DEAL UNTIL AFTER 2020

Other notable ratings include defensive lineman Matt Ioannidis' 86 overall mark, the best rating of anyone along Washington's defensive front. Ryan Kerrigan (84), Daron Payne (83) and Jonathan Allen (82) follow. No. 2 overall pick Chase Young is reportedly an 80 overall, the highest rating of any rookie in the game.

Here are Washington's reported 10 highest-rated players in Madden NFL 21:

OG Brandon Scherff – 87
DL Matt Ioannidis – 86
CB Kendall Fuller - 86
DE/LB Ryan Kerrigan – 84
DL Daron Payne – 83
P Tress Way – 82
DL Jonathan Allen – 82
WR Terry McLaurin – 82
RB Derrius Guice – 81
S Landon Collins – 81

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