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Terry McLaurin ranked among ESPN's biggest draft steals of the last decade

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The Burgundy & Gold struck gold when they drafted Terry McLaurin in the third-round of the 2019 NFL draft.

McLaurin, who had 1,251 yards and 19 touchdowns in his college career at Ohio State, was expected to be a special teams contributor in the professional ranks. That turned out to be the furthest thing from the truth. McLaurin has been one of Washington's most consistent players, catching passes from 10 different quarterbacks, and he is considered to be one of the better receivers playing today.

So much for that special teams role, which encompassed just five snaps.

McLaurin's prestige among national analysts has continued to grow each year, so much so that ESPN's Matt Miller and Jordan Reid ranked him No. 29 on their list of top 50 draft steals of the past decade.

"Scary Terry has been terrorizing NFC East cornerbacks since falling to the Commanders at No. 76 overall based on concerns about a lack of production and whether the Ohio State scheme created his openings," Miller wrote. "Yet McLaurin has eclipsed over 900 yards in each of his four seasons while becoming a top-tier deep threat for Washington."

The 2019 draft class was an exceptional one for receivers. Aside from McLaurin, the list of wideouts taken that year includes DK Metcalf, A.J. Brown, Deebo Samuel, Darius Slayton, Marquise Brown and Hunter Renfrow.

As talented as that class is, few of those receivers have performed up to McLaurin's standard. According to Pro Football Focus, Mclaurin ranks second in career offensive grades (79.9) and career receiving grade (83.0). Only Brown has a higher grade in both categories.

McLaurin is not necessarily known for getting yards after the catch like Brown or some of the other receivers in his class, but he is just as, if not more efficient. His DVOA last year was fifth among all receivers at 20%, which was significantly higher than Brown (10.8%) and Slayton (13.6%).

And in terms of yards, McLaurin is near the top among his fellow 2019 draft picks as well. He ranks second with 4,281 yards and third in receptions with 299.

And let's not forget about his ability to make contested catches. Per PFF, he has 68 in his career with a contested catch rate of 56.6%

All those stats are reasons why McLaurin received a contract extension last year.

"It says a lot about not only this organization and their belief in me, but I says a lot about the person that I've tried to be since day one being here, handling myself professionally and being a competitor and a leader and just being everything they want in a player," McLaurin said after signing his extension. "The more people you can have that are leaders, competitive, unselfish, great players, you're gonna have a really strong culture and a really strong team."

McLaurin has already left a strong impression on his new offensive coordinator, too.

"Ultimate professional. Does a hell of a job of showing up to work every single day," Eric Bieniemy said. "You want everybody to be like Terry. Terry works his tail off. He sets an example by his work ethics and what he does. He's also a man of his word."

McLaurin is already considered to be one of the best wide receivers in franchise history. He is 269 yards away from being 10th among Washington players in career receiving yards, and he is the first Washington receiver since Henry Ellard to record three straight 1,000-yard seasons. He's set to make history again, as no Washington receiver has ever reached the 1,000-yard mark in four consecutive seasons.

Not that McLaurin needs the extra credibility, but doing so would add more evidence that he is one of the best picks Washington has made in recent memory.

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