NAME: Terry McLaurin
SCHOOL: Ohio State
CONFERENCE: Big 10
JERSEY: No. 83
RECRUITMENT RATING: 4-star
WT: 205 lbs
Ball Skills – Lacks desirable ball skills, as he will generally allow the ball to come into his body to make receptions. Even when adjusting to passes thrown behind him, he will rise back to the catchpoint and attempt to corral the ball at his chest. When covered or in contested spots, prefers to use passive hand placement to catch the football. The lack of ball skills suggests a tracking issue, as he rarely plucks the ball or extends his hands away from his body.
Speed/Burst – Quicker than he is fast, McLaurin has lightning feet in the short-area. When he’s able to open up, smooth and fluid runner. In his long speed, he isn’t necessarily explosive. Better when he’s bursting from a foot fire than he when striding in the open field.
Route-Running – There is a lot to like about McLaurin’s route running, but he can lack technique in some regards. McLaurin has a developed route tree, showing effectiveness on in-breaking routes. He has shown patience as a route runner, with hesitation moves to hold defensive backs before crisp cuts to separate away from them. McLaurin has utilized a dead leg cut to accelerate through horizontal route breaks, which defensive backs have trouble tracking. McLaurin has quick feet at the line of scrimmage, gaining ground and bursting up-field. Smooth operator on the vertical plane and in his vertical breaks. Works hard to lower his frame while leaning in to stack defensive backs, showing success at getting into the proper position on Go routes. Shown effectiveness being physical at the top of the route when he’s crowded. There are technique fixes to be made upon entering the next level. McLaurin takes time at the line of scrimmage to load his legs, and will too often false step with the lead leg of his stance. Will raise his shoulders in his stem which results in an over-correction at the top of the route, trying to violently lower his frame and taking too many pitter-patter steps, unable to transition. While running slants or other 3 step routes, has the tendency to overextend his third step which limits acceleration into his break.
Contested Catch – Not a strength of McLaurin, as he lacks the ball skills to win with a guy on his hip. While some stronger receivers can win in contested spots despite a lack of ball skills, McLaurin doesn’t quite have the size and speed combination to get that done. Struggles to win above the rim, even though he has the necessary leaping ability.
Ball Carrier – Seamless transition from a receiver to ball carrier, and he gets vertical right away. Balanced, with some power in his legs that allows him to eat up contact and break tackles when necessary. When in the open field, he has the vision to find running lanes. Catch and run across the field against Oregon State being the prime example of his ability after the catch.
Releases – Similar to his route running, there is good and bad with McLaurin’s ability to beat press coverage. His false steps haven’t negatively effected him in college, and his quick foot fire is a weapon. McLaurin’s ability to move laterally while gaining ground up the field allows him immediate separation. Additionally, he has active hands in order to discard the initial jam. McLaurin can get closed down on when he doesn’t use his trail hand to finish beating the press coverage. Also, he will occasionally misread the technique of the defensive back, rendering his active hands useless as he fails to counter their jam. Still, McLaurin is far above average at defeating press coverage.
Blocking – McLaurin has high effort in his stalk blocking. He does a good job of closing the space down on defensive backs with a wide base. Moves laterally in an attempt to keep his frame in-between the defenders and ball carriers. However, the lack of drive in his feet doesn’t clear any space. On top of that, the lack of drive makes him a relatively easy block to disengage from.
Athleticism/Size – Well balanced frame with decent size. Strong athlete, likely to do well in his 10-yard split at the NFL Scouting Combine. More than enough speed to hold up at the next level, and has the necessary flexibility in his hips to suggest future development with his route running technique.
BEST TRAIT – Athleticism
WORST TRAIT – Ball Skills
RED FLAGS – None
McLaurin was apart of a deep wide receiver room at Ohio State, but still produced 11 touchdowns. There’s a lot to like about his game, and his route running is relatively close to being pro-ready. He will likely fit into a complimentary role at the next level, with the versatility to fill multiple spots. McLaurin will likely be a mid-round selection, but January’s Senior Bowl will provide him an opportunity to increase his stock and showcase #2 wide receiver traits.