Teams Don't View Laquon Treadwell as a Top-10 Talent
Updated Feb. 5, 2016
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.
Over the past two seasons, the NFL Draft has produced some strong classes of wide receivers. This year, the draft isn't as strong at wideout, but that hasn't stopped the media from hyping up Ole Miss wide receiver Laquon Treadwell. It isn't surprising, as Treadwell was a star recruit coming out of high school, and he was a 3-year producer at Ole Miss. There have been lofty comparisons with Treadwell to other elite receiver prospects, but NFL teams aren't grading Treadwell that high. In fact, most of the teams we've spoken to have Treadwell as a late first-rounder, with only one saying they have him as mid first-round pick.
The teams that are grading Treadwell as a late first-rounder say whoever likes him enough to draft him might do so in the middle of the first round. A general manger of a playoff team believes that Treadwell is a little overrated, and he views him as a big, strong, possession receiver in the NFL. Two other teams said they had Treadwell as a late first-rounder. One college scouting director said Treadwell could go in the mid first because this a weak year for receivers and teams will draft out of need at the position.
The reason that teams aren't as high on Treadwell as the hype machine is a lack of speed to separate. They view Treadwell as a big, strong, long, possession receiver with good hands. He routinely uses his size and strength beat defensive backs for 50-50 passes. However, he isn't fast or explosive. He isn't a vertical threat to stretch a defense over the top. If Treadwell had speed, he'd be similar to Julio Jones or A.J. Green and a top 10-pick. Teams say they aren't expecting Treadwell to run fast at the Combine.
The team that has Treadwell graded as a mid first-round pick, and liked him more than others, believes he has some characteristics similar to the Texans' DeAndre Hopkins in the ability to win 50-50 passes. Hopkins was a late first-rounder in the 2013 NFL Draft, but Houston clearly out-scouted the rest of the league, as Hopkins is one of the best players to come out of that draft class.
If the 6-foot-2, 229-pound Treadwell runs well at the Combine, it could help to change some minds and push his draft grade higher. Right now, teams see him in the middle to back half of the picks on Thursday night with a grade of a late first-rounder being held by many teams.