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2016 NFL Draft: Laquon Treadwell meets the press

The 23rd overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft met with local media for the first time in his introductory press conference.

Treadwell's first photo op as a Viking.
Treadwell's first photo op as a Viking.
Eric Thompson

After flying into Minneapolis from Chicago Friday morning, Treadwell began his whirlwind tour of Minnesota by visiting Paul Allen's radio show at Buffalo Wild Wings in Edina. After that he spent some time at Vikings headquarters talking with Rick Spielman and some of the Vikings staff before grabbing a quick bite to eat. Then it was finally time for his introductory press conference.

"He is the type of Minnesota Viking football player we're trying to bring in here," Spielman explained. "He checked all of our boxes as we went through it...He is definitely someone that not only was the best player on our board, but will fit the bill as a top need for us as well."

After Mike Zimmer briefly took the podium to reiterate some of the qualities that the Vikings liked about Treadwell--hard working, character--Treadwell walked up to the stage in a dark gray suit and electric blue dress shirt.

Treadwell is only 20 years old, but you certainly wouldn't know it by the way he carries himself in public. Throughout his press conference he spoke softly but firmly and never seemed like the moment was too big for him. After going through the requisite introductory thanking of the Wilfs and the Vikings staff for choosing him, Treadwell expressed how impressed he was with the fans so far on his visit. "The fans are very passionate. I can tell from the Buffalo Wild Wings visit and signing things on the way to the bus. They love their team."

Treadwell also briefly got to meet with his new quarterback Teddy Bridgewater on Friday.

He's a great guy. Great personality. I can see us getting along well. I'm looking forward to the future and getting better as a player and helping the team out...the last thing I asked him was what his goals are for the team, and he told me 'Super Bowl.' We just talked about ball and trying to get to feel each other out. Getting to know each other, seeing our differences and our similarities. He's a cool guy.

Although Laquon is from Chicago, he showed enough political savvy to say that he wasn't a fan of a particular team growing up. He "admired individual players" and "followed superstars" rather than cheering for the Bears or any other NFL team. (I told you he carried himself like he was older than 20.)

Treadwell is young but has already gained valuable experience from two of the game's all-time greats: Deion Sanders and Cris Carter. Zimmer said he texted Sanders about Treadwell, who had glowing praise of the rookie after Treadwell attended one of his camps. The newest Vikings wide receiver learned a little bit of everything from the Hall of Fame Vikings wide receiver. Treadwell was hooked up with Carter through his agency and spent a couple of weeks together training.

[Carter] has so much knowledge on the game that I didn't know was even possible. The things he was teaching me, from stretching your hands to separation. I'm just looking forward to working with him in the future and continuing to build our relationship.

The best piece of advice Carter ever gave Treadwell? "Don't be late."

After his severe leg injury against Auburn, it was a mental and physical learning experience for Treadwell on the long road to recovery. What pushed him to come back? His passion for football and his support system.

Just my love for the game honestly. My determination, my patience, I had to have patience. It was many different factors that played into me coming back. I can't take credit for it all. The trainers at the school, my family, they all pushed me to come back. They were always there for me, supporting me and telling me the right things and never looking down on me. My teammates, even though we were competing, they were always telling me I'm getting better and I look better and I look good. I knew I wasn't at the point where I wanted to be, but they always stayed on me and I'm just grateful to be here.

Treadwell knows that he has a lot to get familiar with in the Vikings offense but feels comfortable running any route that is asked of him. He talked again about his competitiveness and blocking ability, but doesn't think he picked up his talents by trying to emulate someone else.

Never molded my game after anyone. Wouldn't say that I picked up a player to mold my game after, but I did watch Marvin Harrison growing up, Dez Bryant, Reggie Wayne. All the great receivers when I was young and at the time were scoring, like Chad Johnson...At this level of course I'll pick up on things that guys do well and try to add it to my game and get better, break down their film and see what they're doing on certain routes to win. That's what it's all about, just getting better and crafting and working on your technique.

Not every Ole Miss first round pick had as positive of an experience as Treadwell had on Thursday night. He felt for his college teammate Laremy Tunsil, who had...well, not a great night.

It was tough Me and Robert [Nkemdiche] were there supporting him. Coach Freeze was also there. We were all there supporting him. He stayed in high spirits. That's the type of guy Laremy is so I knew he would be alright eventually. Whatever team drafted him, they were going to get the best of Laremy Tunsil. We all know what he can do, his capability and his limits. I'm just focusing on my future and I'm sure Laremy is focusing on his and getting to Miami and playing at a high level.

One special moment that Treadwell had last night was bringing his three year old daughter up on the stage with him after getting drafted. Laquon thought she handled the scene very well: "I would think she practiced for it honestly...She wouldn't stop jumping around from the morning to the night."

Treadwell wasn't sure how much she grasped of what how her dad's life was about to change, but he realizes how special it was to share the experience with her.

It was an amazing experience that me, my family, and friends will never forget. We will share that to the grave. It was just amazing. I never thought, starting playing football, ten years down the road I'd be in Chicago getting drafted by the Minnesota Vikings. I'm honored, blessed, and glad to be here. I'm looking forward to getting my career started at the next level.

Hopefully the draft was the first in a long series of great experiences for Treadwell. If he handles his rookie season as calmly as he handled his first NFL press conference, he should be just fine.