Every year we see a stud wide receiver or three enter the NFL and immediately we think “fantasy football beast!”. Sometimes it works out a la Odell Beckham Jr. and other times we’re left wanting more via the likes of Cordarrelle Patterson or DeVante Parker.
That’s where that nice balance of actual ability and upside come into play. Parker was much further along than C-Patt ever was, and ended up having some solid games as his rookie year went on. He was even held back by a fairly deep Miami receiving corps (or at least crowded), as well as a foot injury to start the 2015 season. Patterson flashed major upside as a rookie a few years ago, but never developed into the Julio Jones clone we thought he was coming out of Tennessee.
Both guys could still end up being the guys they were hyped up to be, but the difference between them and ODB is Beckham made it happen from day one and hasn’t stopped since. Needless to say, that’s why we’re in constant search of that next break out rookie receiver.
With Laquon Treadwell going to the Minnesota Vikings in round one of this year’s draft, we’re left to wonder if he’s a guy we need to consider drafting early due to his skill-set and upside. The answer is yes, to both questions.
— NFL (@NFL) May 7, 2016
The only real knocks on Treadwell are that he’s a rookie and that we can’t know what his ceiling will be yet due to Teddy Bridgewater. Bridgewater has flashed promise at times and did help Stefon Diggs deliver some solid performances, but he also had moments where he disappeared and has never really found a way to connect deep down the field with any of his receivers.
One other possible issue with Treadwell is his deep speed and ability to separate at the highest level, but I don’t think that’s going to actually be a huge issue. For one, I think his game speed is flat out better than any timed speed he’ll ever show us. It’s up to you to buy into that or not, but time and time again 40 times seem to be overrated, while a guy like C-Patt is a perfect example of a dude with awesome measureables (speed, size, etc), but just could not get the mental side down.
Treadwell has the mental aptitude and skill-set to be a problem for opposing defenses right away. He has quality size, exceptional body control, elite ball skills and the competitiveness to go after misplaced balls. He’s just a matchup problem when it comes to playing the ball in general, as he has an uncanny ability to adjust on the fly and pluck the ball out of the air. This is the main reason why long speed isn’t going to hold him back, as he can go after the ball and win in one on one battles on a regular basis.
He also is a terrific route runner with great movement and footwork. That, combined with his ball skills and willingness to go after the ball make him a deadly receiver.
There could be issues against the top corners and against press coverage, specifically, but Treadwell is a top flight talent. We can expect general inconsistency in his rookie year, too, but overall he has the talent and should have the role to be a real fantasy football force right away in 2016.
The real question will be chemistry with Bridgewater and whether or not Bridgewater will trust him to get the job done on contested passes. The nice thing is you don’t need to pay an arm and a leg so far to get the guy. Currently going just 45th overall (round 10) among wide receivers in standard 12-team leagues, Treadwell could be a nice get later in drafts. Snagging him a bit higher in PPR leagues is suggested, as the talent and upside are there for him to potentially be a breakout star right away.