WASHINGTON (AP) — The Washington Redskins have provided Dwayne Haskins with a familiar target to begin his NFL career.
After selecting the Ohio State quarterback in Thursday's first round, the Redskins picked up another Buckeye Friday, taking wide receiver Terry McLaurin with the 76th overall pick in the draft.
McLaurin caught 35 passes for 701 yards and 11 touchdowns during his senior season with the Buckeyes.
The connection with his college teammate continued during a phone call Thursday night shortly after Washington used the 15th overall pick on Haskins.
Haskins "actually told me he was going to push them to draft me," McLaurin said during a conference call Friday night. "And you know so much can happen on draft day, I didn't necessarily put too much merit into it. But I thought it was a possibility, so I'm just honored to be a part of this great organization."
Haskins never lobbied for McLaurin to Jay Gruden, but the Redskins head coach had previously recognized the chemistry during Ohio State's pro day.
"You could see them communicating," Gruden said. "Terry runs every route like it's his last route. .it's a natural fit."
After selecting McLaurin, Washington traded the 96th overall pick to the Buffalo Bills for selections 112 and 131.
Washington's offense lacked speed last season. The 6-foot McLaurin ran a 4.35 40-time at the NFL Combine. The current depth chart lacks proven threats at receiver beyond Josh Doctson and Paul Richardson, who ended last season on Injured Reserve with a clavicle injury.
"Eventually he'll be a starter without a doubt," Gruden said of McLaurin.
The route to becoming a productive NFL receiver perhaps becomes smoother with a recognizable presence throwing McLaurin passes.
Haskins "brings to the table that competitive edge. He makes my job a lot easier," McLaurin said. "When I'm out of my breaks, the ball is already there. It's in great spots for me to make plays," McLaurin said. "I felt like we really complemented each other at Ohio State."
The Redskins also added defensive help Thursday by selecting defensive end Montez Sweat after trading second-round picks in 2019 and 2020 to the Indianapolis Colts for the 26th overall selection.
"The way pro football is going, speed is the name of the game," Gruden said. "Adding Sweat is going to be a big help. Hopefully, (Saturday) we'll add a couple of more guys that can really run on defense and maybe some more on offense.
Washington enters Saturday's final rounds with seven picks, including two in the fourth, fifth and seventh rounds. The Redskins traded their fourth-round selection last season for safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, who signed a free agent contract with the Chicago Bears this off-season.