- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 25, 2020

INDIANAPOLIS — Even more than a month later, K.J. Hill still grinned over Dwayne Haskins’ tweet. When Hill was a standout at the Senior Bowl last month, the Redskins quarterback shared a clip of his former college teammate’s stunning one-handed catch on Twitter with the message, “need em.”

Hill appreciated the gesture.

“At least I know somebody wants me in the draft,” Hill said with a laugh.

Haskins likely isn’t alone in that thought. In a deep wide receiver class, Hill’s speed and versatility make him one of the more intriguing prospects in this year’s draft. After his strong performance at the Senior Bowl, Hill now has a chance to further impress teams at the league’s scouting combine.

The Redskins, too, are doing their homework.

Hill said he has met with Washington twice already — once last month and most recently at the combine. The 22-year-old met with wide receivers coach Jim Holster and assistant wide receivers coach Drew Terrell, discussing Xs and Os and past teammates like Haskins and wideout Terry McLaurin.

Hill said a reunion with Haskins would “be a great thing.”

“Dwayne is one of my best friends,” Hill said. “We did some things together on the field that we could live on forever, that we remember. But definitely playing with Dwayne again would be a great thing.

“The things we did, the records we broke, I feel like we can do the same thing, just at a different level.”

At Ohio State, Haskins and Hill developed a solid connection. The receiver had a career-high 885 yards on 70 catches in 2018 when Haskins was at quarterback. The next year, Hill’s touchdown total jumped from six to 10, but his overall receiving yardage (636) fell. The Buckeyes lined up Hill primarily in the slot, though split him out wide on occasion.

Hill has been projected as a Day 2 prospect, which could help the Redskins if they are interested in drafting him. Washington lacks a second-round pick after moving up in last year’s draft to take Montez Sweat in the first round. The Redskins, though, do have the 66th overall pick early in the third, a range in which Hill has been slated.

Last year, the Redskins found their most productive rookie in the third round in another Ohio State receiver, McLaurin. The 24-year-old finished the year with 919 yards, just eight yards short of breaking Washington’s all-time rookie receiving record set by Gary Clark.

McLaurin emerged as a clear-cut starter, but wasn’t seen as such when he was at the combine. The NFL Network’s draft profile for McLaurin projected him as a “good backup who could become a starter.”

Hill said he has been leaning on McLaurin for advice. The two chatted often during McLaurin’s rookie season, with McLaurin sharing his experiences during his rookie season. Hill and McLaurin also talked Monday as the latter shared tips on what Hill can expect at the combine, Hill said.

Like McLaurin, Hill’s scouting profile pegs him as a “good backup who could become a starter.” Hill said he’s motivated by McLaurin’s success, as well as other former Ohio State stars like Parris Campbell and Michael Thomas.

Hill is one of three Ohio State wideouts at this year’s combine.

“It’s just our turn to step in,” Hill said, “and put on for our school.”

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