Washington WR Terry McLaurin against the Ravens
Oct 4, 2020; Landover, Maryland, USA; Washington Football Team wide receiver Terry McLaurin (17) runs with the ball as Baltimore Ravens linebacker Jaylon Ferguson (45) chases in the fourth quarter at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The top-four leading receivers through the first four games of the 2020 NFL season are Stefon Diggs, DK Metcalf, Amari Cooper and DeAndre Hopkins.

Diggs has a quarterback in Josh Allen with the Bills who is firmly in the MVP race. Metcalf has the leader in the clubhouse for the top individual award, Russell Wilson. Cooper’s quarterback in Dallas, Dak Prescott, is on pace to break the single-season yardage mark. Heck, Hopkins has one of the game’s best young quarterbacks in the Arizona desert.

The fifth-leading receiver in the NFL is Washington Football Team’s Terry McLaurin. The second-year pass catcher does not have a quarterback in the MVP discussion. He doesn’t have a future Hall of Fame quarterback and he is a part of an offense that is 30th in the NFL in total yards. McLaurin is having himself quite a season, and yet, the media is not paying him any attention. 

Related: Week 5 NFL power rankings

Here is why Terry McLaurin is a top-10 receiver in the NFL this season

McLaurin is playing with a growing Dwayne Haskins

Haskins has the potential to be a good quarterback. However, he simply isn’t one right now. The sophomore is being asked to be a game manager more than anything. Washington’s game plan is surrounded by protecting Haskins. In turn, that limits McLaurin. 

Offensive coordinator Scott Turner has not been using McLaurin in the offense enough. McLaurin should be used like Odell Beckham Jr was in his Giants’ days. The offense should be surrounded by McLaurin. That has not been the case so far this season. 

Despite this, McLaurin has been putting up fantastic numbers. He has tallied 26 catches for 387 yards and one touchdown. He is on pace for more than 1,500 yards this season and is playing on one of the worst offenses in the NFL. 

2. McLaurin is putting up these numbers versus All-Pro and Pro-Bowl Talent 

McLaurin is not putting up these numbers against inferior competition. He is matching up against former All-Pro and Pro Bowl cornerbacks. In Week 1, he matched up with former All-Pro Darius Slay. In Week 2, he played former All-Pro Patrick Peterson. In Weeks 3 and 4, he went up against Denzel Ward and Marlon Humphrey, respectively.

Related: Top defenses in the NFL

Not only is McLaurin putting up fantastic numbers against some of the best cornerbacks in the league, he is also doing it being the only legitimate weapon in Washington’s offense. Running back Antonio Gibson is making his name known, but he still is not a legitimate weapon just yet. 

McLaurin will face a very tough matchup Week 5 against the Jalen Ramsey and the Los Angeles Rams, but this youngster showed he is not afraid of the competition. In fact, the Ohio State product thrives when he plays some of the best corners the league has to offer.

McLaurin is doing all of this in his second year in the NFL

The narrative in Washington is to “give Haskins time. It only is his second year in the NFL.” However, McLaurin has not used that as an excuse. He is putting up some of the best numbers in the NFL, and he is only in his sophomore year. 

Entering Week 5, McLaurin has 12 receptions gaining 15 or more yards. That’s first in the NFL. Furthermore, he is first in yards after the catch with 208. He is also second in the NFL in forcing missed tackles after the catch with eight. 

McLaurin is lighting up the stat sheet on one of the worst offenses in the NFL. He is playing behind a quarterback who is learning and has the full focus of the defense. He is playing at a high level. Yet, the media isn’t noticing it.