2020 Redskins Questions: Is there a WR to step up opposite Terry McLaurin?

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JP Finlay
·4 min read
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The Redskins found a star last season in third-round wide receiver Terry McLaurin. He finished just shy of breaking the organization's record for rookie receiving yards and looks like he could be the best wideout drafted by the team since Michael Westbrook, and maybe since Gary Clark. 

McLaurin is not the topic here, however, because even with just 14 games played, he's a known commodity. He has elite speed and runs precise routes. The unknown is what happens opposite McLaurin.

Kelvin Harmon looks like the front runner to start opposite McLaurin. Another 2019 draft pick, his rookie stats aren't particularly encouraging on face value. A sixth-round pick out of NC State, Harmon went for 30 catches and 365 yards last year. 

Dig deeper and things start to look better. Of Harmon's 30 catches, 20 of them came once Dwayne Haskins got inserted into the starting lineup. Haskins and Harmon knew each other growing up in New Jersey and talk like old friends. Additionally, they've been working out together this offseason, as much as Coronavirus protocols allow anyway. 

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Harmon lacks top speed but is big and has good hands, not to mention toughness and is a willing blocker. In a normal offseason period, it would be no surprise if Harmon was on the field with the starting offense right now. 

That doesn't mean the job is definitely his. Fourth-round rookie Antonio Gandy-Golden is coming to Washington after two prolific college seasons at small Liberty University. There will obviously be a major acclimation period going from Liberty to the NFL, but Gandy-Golden has the size and speed to make the adjustment. How quickly he can make that adjustment will determine his playing time. A recent bout with the Coronavirus seems like it will not be a factor for the rookie wideout as he said in a statement he's fully recovered. He contracted the virus in March. 

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Steven Sims seems to have a secure spot as the team's slot receiver, unless third-round rookie Antonio Gibson pushes for some of that work. Sims impressed as a rookie with his speed and playmaking ability, but needs to work on his hands and route running. 

Trey Quinn, Cam Sims and Cody Latimer round out the current receiving group that has been on NFL rosters. Both Quinn and Sims have dealt with more injuries than catches, and without ties to the new organization, both will need to prove they deserve roster spots. 

The Redskins signed Latimer in late March to a one-year contract. He played last year with the Giants and made 30 catches along with strong work on special teams. Latimer looked like a secure roster spot and perhaps somebody that could push for playing time opposite McLaurin before he was arrested in Denver in mid-May. It's unclear what will happen with the arrest, both legally and with the Redskins organization, but it doesn't seem like the incident will help his role as the veteran wideout on the team. 

It's also entirely possible the Redskins sign another veteran receiver as the current group is very inexperienced. Keep an eye out for cuts around the league and names that could make sense in Washington. The Redskins still have $35 million in salary cap space, second most in the NFL, and the team made a hard charge to sign Cowboys WR Amari Cooper earlier this offseason. 

The team has also signed a number of undrafted free agents Emmanuel Hall, Johnathan Johnson, Jordan Veasy and Isaiah Wright and brought back Darvin Kidsy and Jester Weah from various practice squad stints too. Before those guys get dismissed, remember that for two straight seasons an undrafted player has made the team at wideout.

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2020 Redskins Questions: Is there a WR to step up opposite Terry McLaurin? originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington