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.
1. Julio Jones— PFF (@PFF) August 10, 2020
2. Michael Thomas
3. DeAndre Hopkins
PFF ranks the top 25 WRs heading into 2020:
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.
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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