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Washington Camp: It's Terry McLaurin Time - And Here's Why

Terry McLaurin looks the part of a top-10 wide receiver entering the second week of training camp

Terry McLaurin is already the No. 1 wide receiver for the Washington Football Team. Is he top-10 in the league entering 2021? 

All inclinations coming out of Richmond says there's a chance he will. 

Entering his third year, McLaurin has the chance to build off his first 1,000-yard season. Last year, he was the lone target for Washington with more than 80 catches and 700 receiving yards. 

The only wide receiver who came close (if you can call it that) to McLaurin's 1,118 yards was Cam Sims. He finished with 477 yards on the year.

READ MORE: WFT Camp Notebook Day 1: Fitzpatrick Favorite Target

A new quarterback could change the numbers for everybody.

Although a journeyman, Ryan Fitzpatrick might have needed to "journey" here to D.C. to find his best pass-catch target in all of what will be his 17 years.

"As a receiver, you just want a chance and a guy who's smart, who has confidence in his guys," McLaurin told reporters. "I think that just kind of just matriculates down throughout the offense. You got to find a lot of confidence with everybody from the linemen to the skill players through the quarterback. That's when you're playing fun football, when everybody's confident and your quarterback is the leader and he empowers everyone."

During practice in Richmond, McLaurin won reps left and right. He consistently showed his route-running was dangerous in creating space. 

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Last week, he was paired up against new cornerback William Jackson III. Jackson doesn't lose too many reps in coverage, but McLaurin found ways to win. And it wasn't just on quick routes and slants. The Ohio State alum went vertical, winning at the top of his route in contested catches. 

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"He's such a young player and he's had two very successful seasons so far," WFT coach Ron Rivera said Saturday after practice. “Last year, he caught my attention immediately and he's done the same thing and has been even more impressive." 

What's the end goal for McLaurin? That's a question that perhaps can't be answered now. Remember last season when Washington trotted out four quarterbacks to lead the team to a NFC East title? 

Imagine if McLaurin could grow with just one constant QB calling the shots? Could he lead the NFL in receiving yards? Receiving touchdowns? Why not both? 

All that for another day. 

As Washington works through camp, McLaurin should be pleased with his progress. In what little time he's been back on the field, there are two takeaways. 

The first is that McLaurin has yet to reach his ceiling. The second is WFT should start thinking contract extension sooner rather than later — because later, he's going to be recognized as a top-10 receiver.   

CONTINUE READING: Inside The Fitzpatrick & Heinicke Washington QB Relationship