The first two years in the NFL career of Minnesota Vikings’ wide receiver Laquon Treadwell have been underwhelming, to say the least. After having just one reception in his rookie season, Treadwell showed some improvement in 2017, but just hasn’t put up the numbers that many would expect from a receiver that was selected in the first round of the NFL Draft.
Well, one of the internet’s better talent scouts has done a bit of a breakdown of Treadwell, and it might just be enough to make people think that we may be writing him off a bit too early.
Matt Waldman of the Rookie Scouting Portfolio put up a series of quick videos on the Twitter a little bit ago, and he had plenty of positive things to say about Treadwell. I’d encourage everyone to watch all of the clips, as they’re only about two minutes long.
(Sorry for the bulkiness of the thread there, but this is the sort of thing that the ThreadReader App was made for.)
Waldman’s analysis shows plenty of positives about Treadwell. He has the ability to run pretty good routes, he has a big catch radius, and he knows how to use his hands and his body to establish position on opposing defenders.
The issue with Treadwell going forward, as Waldman points out in the last couple of videos, is whether or not he can establish a level of trust with his new quarterback, Kirk Cousins. Over his first couple of seasons, whether the quarterback was Sam Bradford or Case Keenum, they had guys that the obviously trusted more than Treadwell, and that showed in the number of catches that came from the wide receiver position. In 2017, Thielen had 91 catches, Diggs had 64 (because he missed some games), and then you have Treadwell with just 20. Kyle Rudolph and Jerick McKinnon each had over 50 catches last season as well, and you have to figure the return of Dalvin Cook is going to eat into whatever number of targets Treadwell might see this season.
On the other hand, Cousins has a reputation for making use of all of his receivers, and if Treadwell can emerge as a more consistent target on Cousins’ radar, it would allow Thielen and/or Diggs to spend more time in the slot, where they’re both pretty lethal. That would just open things up even more for the Minnesota offense, and from everything that’s been said about John DeFilippo thus far, it would seem that he could get things lined up for all of the parts of the Vikings’ offense to take advantage of their situations.
I know that the Vikings signed Kendall Wright this offseason, presumably to either take over the role of the #3 receiver or, at the very least, to put pressure on Treadwell for that spot. But, even though his first two seasons have been underwhelming, it would seem that there’s plenty of room for hope for him going forward.