One Part of Being a Top Receiver Where Terry McLaurin Can Still Grow

One part of being a top WR where McLaurin can still grow originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Terry McLaurin is productive, reliable, unselfish, fast, mature and determined, just to name a few of his most noticeable qualities. However, for as beloved as McLaurin is in Washington, he does still have room to grow, much like every other player in the NFL and every other person on the planet.

And one area in particular that McLaurin can improve in is posting more ridiculously monstrous stat lines. That is an officially-recognized term, for the record.

In his three seasons with the club, McLaurin has established himself as a receiver who, on pretty much a week-to-week basis, will be a factor for his offense. It's rare for the 26-year-old to be totally blanketed or end up as just a small part of the box score, as his quiet performances still make a solid amount of noise and his more gaudy outputs can be quite superb.

Having said that, McLaurin's loudest games aren't as LOUD as the peers he surely wants to be compared to. Now that he's got a contract that puts himself among those other stars, the Commanders would love to see him explode every so often and take over a contest like the league's best can do.

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In his 46 regular-season appearances and one playoff tilt, McLaurin has exceeded the 100-yard mark 10 times. His career high in yards, which came in Miami during his rookie year, is 130. 

Cooper Kupp, meanwhile, compiled 11 100-yard contests in 2021 alone, including two where he went off for 163 yards and 156 yards.

Davante Adams was responsible for eight 100-yard showings in 2021, with one of those finishing at 206 yards.

Then there's Justin Jefferson, who generated seven 100-yard days, topping out at 182 yards.

Yes, those are three of the most electric wideouts in the NFL, with the first two having already cashed in on better deals than McLaurin and Jefferson trending toward surpassing McLaurin, too. They, along with studs like Ja'Marr Chase, Tyreek Hill and Stefon Diggs, make up the truly-elite tier, with McLaurin hanging out just below them.

Still, it's not unreasonable to ask for a bit more out of McLaurin in terms of raising his four-quarter ceiling. When Kupp is being peppered with the ball or Chase is running free down the sidelines, they can force fans to question whether what they're reading on their phones or seeing on the scoreboard is a typo. In turn, their teams reach a rare level of efficiency. 

To those ready to claim that McLaurin needs help in order to come up with a 12-grab, 178-yard, two-touchdown afternoon, you are right, correct, spot-on and acknowledged.

The pass-catchers that are being mentioned in this story are lucky enough to be paired with pass-throwers who are as skilled as it gets and not named Garrett Gilbert or Case Keenum. Fortunately, while Carson Wentz may not be primed for a flawless debut go-round in Washington, he does represent a serious upgrade at quarterback and should assist McLaurin as he aims to find another gear.

Wentz alone might not be enough, though. One frustrating part of Washington's 2021 was that, for a handful of stretches, McLaurin simply wasn't involved for multiple drives. Coordinator Scott Turner admitted it was on him to feature No. 17 in a more consistent manner, and hopefully that's a lesson he won't have to re-learn in 2022.

McLaurin himself, by the way, can contribute to the cause as well. For someone as dependable as he is in 50-50 ball situations, he did allow a few catchable opportunities to hit the ground a season ago, and he also was significantly less effective with post-reception yardage than the previous season.

None of this is meant to undermine what McLaurin has accomplished for his squad. After all, the fourth-year pro is coming off back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons, which is something a member of the franchise hadn't done since the mid-1990s

Instead, it's merely an assertion that McLaurin can keep developing and go from a steady receiver to a dominant one. With his bank account now much larger, the hope is that his signature games will similarly escalate. 

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