Terry McLaurin came into his rookie season as one of the best route runners in his draft class, and it led him to gain consistent separation all year regardless of coverage. He had one of the most expansive route trees, and his yards per route run was one of the best by a rookie over the last 15 years, and it’s even more impressive when you consider his 20%+ target share.
I mean, the dude cracked PFF’s highest WR grades of 2019 (min 90 targets)… as a rookie. Look at the company he’s in.
1. Michael Thomas
2. Chris Godwin
3. Julio Jones
4. DeAndre Hopkins
5. Terry McLaurin
He was also 3rd in passer rating generated when targeted among these same WRs.
He ranked 11th in yards per route run among all WRs with 90+ targets.
We aren’t comparing rookies here… we’re comparing him to All-Pro NFL WRs.
He ran into some trouble because of his QB situation, but he got over it pretty quickly. McLaurin ran out of the gate in 2019, catching 5 TDs in his first 5 games as a NFL WR, and averaged 4.6 catches for 81.6 yards during that span.
He hit a road bump when Dwayne Haskins took over as a rookie himself; McLaurin saw the lowest percentage of accurate downfield passes of any rookie WR, but the two re-gained their Ohio State rapport later in the year. Over the last three games, McLaurin averaged 5.3 catches for 91 yards and 0.7 TDs.
With the Redskins not adding any serious target competition for McLaurin, he’s their defacto #1 target going into 2020. Rookie WRs make their biggest jump from Year 1 to Year 2, and Haskins should be able to improve on his accuracy like he did in college. The target share will be there, and that’s all he needs, as he was 8th in fantasy points per touch.
Keep in mind that new OC Scott Turner came to town after Josh Gordon’s great rookie year, and he was excelled to an elite level when he became Gordon’s WR coach. Over their careers, he and his Dad installed vertical attacks along with revolving around playmakers; that will benefit a guy like McLaurin, as we saw DJ Moore consistently targeted all year despite QB struggles. Turner likes analytics as well, so he’s aware of what I’m spitting at you on this post.
Is McLaurin currently undervalued?