With the 23rd pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings selected wide receiver Laquon Treadwell out of the University of Mississippi. The team needed to acquire a new target for Teddy Bridgewater, and it appears they got a good one at the spot they were at.
So, what did experts around the internet think about the selection of Treadwell? Let's take a look around and find out.
First of all, the talk about Treadwell's lack of speed is overblown—in Ole Miss's limited passing offense, he was often open and unseen. He's a tough, physical, consistent receiver who won't set any land speed records against deep safeties, but he has the skills to become Minnesota's top target. Yes, that's a low bar at this point, but GM Rick Spielman has to start somewhere. Add Treadwell to Stefon Diggs in the Vikings' receiver battery, and things are looking up for Teddy Bridgewater.
This is a great pick. They have the next Dez Bryant.
Steve Palazzolo, Pro Football Focus - C+
Receivers are flying off the board as the Vikings add a physical outside presence in Treadwell. He's a solid late-round pick (+19.8 receiving grade ranked 13th in the draft class), capable of winning in the short game (slants) and adding a red-zone presence with his size. The problem with Treadwell is creating separation at the intermediate and deep level, right where offensive coordinator Norv Turner is trying to get the ball. In addition to not separating well, his pairing with QB Teddy Bridgewater is not ideal as Bridgewater is hesitant to throw into tight windows and that marriage may not play to Treadwell's skillset.
Even when playing in the contested game, Treadwell is not as exceptional as scouting reports may indicate. Overall, he's a solid possession receiver, but the pairing with the Vikings and Bridgewater may not be a good one unless the offense turns to a more quick-hitting passing game that takes advantage of both Bridgewater and Treadwell's skillsets.
Walter Cherepinsky, Walter Football - B+
I'm giving all of these receiver picks a B+. Forgive me for being boring in this stretch, but they all make sense. Laquon Treadwell was seen as the No. 1 player on some boards, but the receivers were all ranked evenly heading into the 2016 NFL Draft. It was just a matter of what teams were looking for. The Texans, for example, wanted a speed guy to complement DeAndre Hopkins. The Vikings, on the other hand, wanted a possession receiver. Treadwell is definitely that, as seen by his 4.64 40 time, but he's still a very good player and well worth the 23rd pick in the draft.
Mike Tanier, Bleacher Report - B+
There are several reasons why Treadwell should be better than doubters think, but his release off the line is the key. Treadwell has one of the best releases I've seen in years. In the NFL, a lot of downfield "wins" take place in those first five yards: the cornerback gets knocked out of position or loses a step in transition, and he cannot just grab hold and ride along like college defenders do. Treadwell is also still coming back from a 2014 injury and could gain back a half-step.
Treadwell won't be DeSean Jackson or Antonio Brown, but he could be Allen Robinson, ripping off 50-yard catches against defenders a step faster than him.
This pick made too much sense for the Vikings to pass up. Treadwell isn't a burner but he has the frame and ball skills to develop into a dominant receiver No. 1 receiver. That's exactly what Minnesota and Teddy Bridgewater need to push the passing game to the next level.
General manager Rick Spielman got the most physical receiver in the draft in Treadwell. There's no reason he won't be a to-go guy for Teddy Bridgewater.
Three wide receivers went before the best one in the draft mostly because Treadwell ran an unimpressive 40-yard dash time at the NFL Scouting Combine. Treadwell is a big and physical receiver who can be a top target for Teddy Bridgewater. If he can play a little faster and concentrate through the catch, he can put up big numbers in the NFL. Oh, and he'll help Adrian Peterson. Treadwell is one of the best run blocking wide outs in this year's draft.
Eric Edholm, Yahoo! Sports - A-
This makes too much sense. Teddy Bridgewater doesn't need a deep threat -- he needs a chain mover, and a physical one, such as Treadwell. This is an inspired choice that could reshape the Vikings' offense. He'll be a great No. 1 option in the red zone and is also the best blocking receiver in the draft by a mile. A great choice at this point of the draft.
For the most part, it looks like the internet really likes the Vikings' selection of Laquon Treadwell. But what do you think, folks?