If there's one thing that fans of the Minnesota Vikings have learned in recent years, it's that one should be careful before putting too much stock in the Pro Days that take place at various colleges across the country leading up to the NFL Draft.
In 2014, just before the draft, quarterback Teddy Bridgewater reportedly "bombed" his Pro Day at Louisville according to just about everybody. His performance was panned by just about everybody. . .with one notable exception.
Not as down on Bridgewater workout as some. Only saw 1 bad throw. Norv Turner told me he thought it was pretty good.— Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) March 17, 2014
Bridgewater has been fine for the Vikings so far, considering the amount of time he's spent running for his life. Now it appears that another Pro Day performance that some are viewing as sub-par could push down a player that, much like Bridgewater two years ago, was thought to be out of the picture for the Vikings.
The University of Mississippi held their Pro Day on Monday, and one of the three main attractions was wide receiver Laquon Treadwell. For much of the pre-draft process so far, Treadwell has been considered by the folks that make mock drafts and big boards to be the top wide receiver available. But at his Pro Day, Treadwell managed a 40-yard dash time of 4.65 seconds. That would have put him among the slowest times for wide receivers at the NFL Scouting Combine (had he run in Indianapolis).
This year's wide receiver class is not particularly top-heavy at first blush, but to this point Treadwell has been considered to be a cut above the rest of the group. He still has plenty of positives that you'd like to have in a receiver. He's got good size at 6'3" and around 220 pounds and possesses very good hands. . .and, in something the Vikings would likely appreciate, he's the best blocking wide receiver in this class. But the scouts are going to hate that 4.65 40-yard dash number, and it's something that could cause him to fall behind some players that would be considered close to Treadwell but ran significantly better. . .guys like Josh Doctson, Will Fuller, and Corey Coleman, for example.
Vikings fans know that one workout performance in shorts and t-shirts shouldn't weigh that heavily on how a player is viewed on draft day. However, things being what they are, there's at least a chance that the top wide receiver available in this year's draft could end up falling to our favorite football team at #23 in the first round. Even if he wound up slower than a lot of people thought, it certainly wouldn't break my heart to see Treadwell smiling and holding up a purple jersey at Winter Park in about a month or so.