Both prospects were, at one time or another, projected as high as round two in the draft. Both were able to be secured for picks after round two, and the Redskins and their fans came out thinking they may have gotten two very good young players at a bargain.
McLaurin, who at 6’0” 208 pounds, ran a 4.35 40 at the combine, while adding a 37.5 inch vertical and 18 reps at 225 pounds. He was a bit un-heralded coming out of Ohio State, but many talent evaluates claimed he was the best draftable receiver on the Buckeyes.
Aside from having great speed, McLaurin is known for running detailed routes, having very solid hands, throwing great blocks downfield, being a special teams demon, and a lead-by-example guy in the locker room. My NFL comparison for him is Pierre Garcon.
Later on in the draft, the Redskins landed N.C. State’s Kelvin Harmon. Standing at nearly 6’3” and weighing over 220 pounds, Harmon bullies smaller defensive backs with his physicality and work in and out of his stem. He knows how to use his body, and adjusts well to balls thrown into coverage. He also tracks the ball very well on over-the-shoulder passes, and has been a big redzone threat for the Wolfpack.
Harmon posted back-to-back 1000 yard receiving seasons at N.C. State before deciding to forgo his senior season and enter the NFL Draft. Many draft pundits had him ranked as one of the best receivers in this class, before a less-than-stellar combine dropped him a bit. My NFL comparison for him is the Saints Michael Thomas, who also had a slower 40 yard dash, but uses his body and strong hands to win against coverage.
The question now becomes, should the Redskins let both young receivers learn the NFL game on the go with new signal caller Dwayne Haskins?
It’s important for a young quarterback to develop chemistry with his receivers. It’s evident that Josh Doctson is not in the team’s long-term plans, so having the fourth year pro developing a connection with Haskins will be a short-lived one. The team did re-sign Brian Quick before the draft to give the Redskins the bigger body they so desired, but with Harmon now in the fold, and Cam Sims healthy, Quick may be a afterthought.
The return of Paul Richardson will be a welcome addition this fall, but the former Seahawk speedster will have to prove he can stay healthy if he expects to make significant contributions on offense. The other wild-card is Trey Quinn, who was last year’s Mr. Irrelevant. Quinn is expected to compete for the open slot receiver position vacated when Jamison Crowder left via free agency. His rookie year was cut short due to injury, so he’ll have to prove he’s ready to take on the rigors of a full 16-game season this fall.
Many fans liked what they saw last year in the preseason from Alabama rookie Cam Sims. He could also factor into the mix on the outside with a strong training camp.
It’s been a while since the Redskins have had a true number one receiving target. It’s been an eternity since the team has had a young quarterback to go along with talented young receivers.
This year, the Redskins could have the luxury of having both, and have the opportunity to have them develop and grow together.
If Haskins earns the start at quarterback to begin the season, it may benefit the Redskins in the long-term to have both rookies learning at his side.
What a luxury this could truly become!
Should the Redskins start both their rookie wide receivers from the get-go?
This poll is closed
Yes - baptism by fire
No - receivers need time to learn the game
We’re going to stink anyways; what’s the harm?
If Haskins starts, they should both start too.