In 2015, the majority of rookie drafts were led by Ezekiel Elliott alongside Laquon Treadwell. The Vikings were crying out for a WR to show some consistency and was one of their biggest needs. Obviously, we now know that Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen have an abundance of talent, but at the time we did not.
It’s unlikely for players to become strong fantasy assets if they fail to produce in the first 2 years of their career. However, it’s also unlikely for 1st
Most owners continue to hold due to his high draft price, while some are selling to get what they can. 2017 has seen Treadwell get slightly more involved in the Vikings offense, thus I thought it would be wise to remind readers of the reason many were so high on him coming out of Ole Miss. Measuring in at 6’2”, 221 pounds with 1,153 yards and 11 TDs in his senior season, Treadwell didn’t fair too differently to fellow Rebels product, Evan Engram. We’ve gone on to see Engram have an outstanding rookie season, while we await Treadwell’s breakout.
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein was one of the highest analysts on Treadwell. He compared the former 5 star All-American to Deandre Hopkins. Furthermore, he said, “Like DeAndre Hopkins, both players should be defined by their talent, ball skills and consistency of production over pure speed numbers. Treadwell is at his best when he has a clean, two-way go off the line of scrimmage and he could be a challenging size matchup from the slot. While Ole Miss used him underneath quite a bit, he runs quality downfield routes and has the ball skills needed to become a more vertical receiver than underneath, possession guy.”
Moreover, there were countless comparisons to Dez Bryant and Dwayne Bowe throughout the draft process. Granted, all of those names mentioned produced to a greater degree, sooner than Treadwell has. Something that’s worth keeping in mind is that Treadwell is still only 22. He won’t turn 23 until June 2018; thus, he’s still younger than the likes of Cooper Kupp, Zay Jones, and Mike Williams.
Many would blame Mike Zimmer for his lack of development. Zimmer notoriously hates giving rookies playing time, and this could lead to weaker development as they merely sit on the sideline. However, Zimmer has been openly cynical of Treadwell’s work ethic. He’s not hidden the fact that he thinks Treadwell has to work harder in practice and improve before he sees the field. Treadwell has the support of his QB at least. At the beginning of the season, Sam Bradford noted, “I think he’s come a long way just from what I’ve seen from when I got here to this point this year,” Bradford said. “Obviously, he’s big. He’s physical. He’s got strong hands. It seems like he does a really good job at making contested catches when he has the opportunity. It’s nice to have a guy like that to put in the back side and know you can throw it into some tight windows, and know he can come down with it.” Additionally, his OC has been openly praising him lately. Pat Shurmur added, “He came back and he was really on point with what he’s supposed to be doing mentally. He’s been out here competing and doing a nice job running routes and catching the ball.”
It’s certainly no sure thing, but now could be an ideal time to buy Treadwell. If you could acquire him for a 2nd round pick, it could be a shrewd move. With Diggs and Thielen having strong campaigns, you can use that in your favor during trade negotiations. Thielen and Treadwell both have a few years left on their current contracts. Diggs however, will be in a contract year in 2018. They may see what they have in their 2016 first round pick in order to decide if they need to pay big bucks to Diggs.