Rivera says McLaurin has 'been everything as advertised' originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
Through three weeks of the 2020 season, Washington wide receiver Terry McLaurin has proved that his exceptional rookie year was no fluke.
McLaurin -- who finished just a handful of yards short of Washington's rookie receiving record in 2019 -- has been every bit of the No. 1 wideout Washington has needed him to be thus far this season.
Ron Rivera was asked about McLaurin's early success during his presser on Monday, and the head coach raved about his second-year star.
"[He’s] just everything that was advertised," Rivera said.
The 25-year-old hasn't had easy matchups, either, as he went up against All-Pros in Darius Slay and Patrick Peterson in Weeks 1 and 2, respectively, before facing up-and-coming star Denzel Ward this past Sunday.
Still, all McLaurin has done is produce. While he's only found the end zone once, his speed and ability to make defenders miss makes him a home run threat every time he touches the ball.
What truly makes the second-year wide receiver so special is what he's able to do once the ball is in his hands. McLaurin leads all wideouts in yards after the catch (YAC) with 176. Only Saints running back Alvin Kamara has more YAC than Washington's pass-catcher.
Although he's only played 17 career games, it's clear Washington found a third-round gem in the 2019 NFL Draft. Rivera admitted that he wanted to draft McLaurin when he was the head coach in Carolina, but Washington grabbed him before the Panthers had the chance to do so.
"I know when we were in Carolina, we liked him enough that we wanted to pick him and the Washington Football Team picked him before us," Rivera said. "He’s a guy that exceeded expectations obviously and it’s one of those things that if everybody knew he was going to be like this, he would’ve been a first-rounder or a second-rounder."
Saying McLaurin has exceeded expectations would be an understatement. It's been four years since Washington has had a 1,000-yard receiver, and a lot longer since it had a true Pro Bowl-caliber option at that position.
Washington still has plenty of other holes on offense to address before it can become a contender, but Rivera knows the team has something special in No. 17. The rest of the NFL is seeing it now, too.
"Just fortunate to have him," Rivera said. "Everything he works on he excels at."