By: Ryan Cooley
In 2016, Redskins fans watched as both Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson took their talents elsewhere. Many knew that Washington wouldn’t be able to hang on to both WRs, but believed one would get resigned.
Garcon and Jackson each had over 1,000 yds their last season in Washington. Since their departure, the Redskins have yet to find a WR who could break 800 yds in a season.
With the 77th overall pick of the draft, the Redskins selected WR Terry McLaurin. Most liked the pick since McLaurin and Haskins were teammates at Ohio State. In his senior year, McLaurin only had 35 catches but averaged an outstanding 20 yds per reception. He also managed to take 11 of those to the house.
McLaurin’s skill set is similar to that of Jackson, being a big play/home run hitter. However, standing at 6’0” and 210 lbs, his size is nearly identical to Garcons.
For many WRs, it takes a couple of years in the NFL before they hit their ceiling. This was the hope for Josh Doctson after he got off to a slow start. However, he never came close to what the Redskins thought they were getting when they selected him in the first round.
In two weeks, McLaurin has already impressed more than Doctson did in his three years as a Redskin. His ten catches for 185 yds and two scores is something Redskins fans should be optimistic about. When being targeted, Keenum has a 142.4 QB rating.
He is a much better route runner than he gets credit for. Most deep threat receivers rely on speed or size to make plays. McLaurin’s route running is impressive for someone in his first year of the NFL. His route running will continue to get better as he develops.
I would like to see him improve on his short route running ability so he can be a become a reliable target in short-yardage situations. This is something the Redskins need with them only converting 36.4% of their 3rd downs last season. They are currently even worse at 31.8% this season. Being able to rely on a WR on third and short would drastically improve this percentage.
Redskins fans may finally have something to look forward to at the WR position. This is something they have not had since watching Jackson and Garcon give opposing defenses nightmares.
The season is still young, and McLaurin has much to prove in the next 14 games to show if he is the real deal. We have no idea when Haskins will take the field with Keenum impressing in his first two starts. When his time does come, I believe Haskins and McLaurin will be special. While this 0-2 start is far from ideal, McLaurin is at least giving this organization hope for a bright future.