Laquon Treadwell

Lions Work Out Laquon Treadwell

The Lions worked out former Vikings first-round pick Laquon Treadwell, according to ESPN.com’s Field Yates (on Twitter). Treadwell also showed his stuff for the Bills earlier this week, but he’s still seeking a deal after being cut by the Vikings. 

Treadwell, 24, had lots of buzz coming out of Ole Miss. Unfortunately, he hasn’t done much as a pro. Last year was Treadwell’s “best” as an NFL player – he finished out with 35 catches, 302 yards, and one touchdown. That averaged out to just 8.6 yards per catch, which isn’t a great look for a player who ran just a 40-yard-dash of just 4.63 seconds at the 2016 combine.

In a fun twist, the Vikings signed Josh Doctson shortly after dropping Treadwell. Doctson, another wide receiver from the 2016 class who has yet to make his mark, was selected one spot ahead of Treadwell.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bills To Meet With Laquon Treadwell

The Bills will meet with wide receiver Laquon Treadwell and outside linebacker Noah Spence on Tuesday, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). Given their draft pedigrees, both could be intriguing low-risk pickups for Buffalo.

Treadwell is a former first-round pick of the Vikings who entered the NFL with lots of fanfare. Unfortunately, he hasn’t done a whole lot at the NFL level.

Spence, meanwhile, washed out of Ohio State’s program in college before transferring over to Eastern Kentucky University. He did well for the Ohio Valley Conference school, and parlayed that success into a second-round selection from the Bucs. He racked up 5.5 sacks as a rookie, but his sophomore season was largely lost to injury and he didn’t really produce in 12 games last year.

In addition to Treadwell and Spence, here are the other players that Buffalo has recently worked out, a list that includes a number of safeties (Twitter link via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle):

Vikings Announce Cuts To Make 53

The Vikings have trimmed their roster down to 53 players. Notably, the team waived kicker/punter Kaare Vedvik, who they just traded a fifth-round pick for a few weeks ago. They also sent packing quarterback Kyle Sloter, who has starred in the preseason the past couple of years and earned a lot of fans. Finally, the team cut their losses with first-round bust Laquon Treadwell. Minnesota drafted the former Ole Miss receiver 23rd overall back in 2016, and he never topped 200 yards with the team.

Here’s the full list of moves:

Waived:

DE Ade Aruna (Injured)

WR Jeff Badet

FB Khari Blasingame

QB Jake Browning

LB Reshard Cliett

T Aviante Collins

DT Curtis Cothran

WR Davion Davis

LB Devante Downs

C Cornelius Edison

RB De’Angelo Henderson

TE Cole Hikutini

WR Alexander Hollins

CB Craig James

DE Stacy Keely

C John Keenoy

LB Greer Martini

CB Nate Meadors

WR Dillon Mitchell

T Storm Norton

DT Tito Odenigbo

DE Anree Saint-Amour

DE Karter Schult

QB Kyle Sloter

LB Cameron Smith

S Derron Smith

CB Duke Thomas

WR Laquon Treadwell

P/K Kaare Vedvik

T Nate Wozniak

S Isaiah Wharton (Injured)

WR Brandon Zylstra

Placed on Reserve/PUP:

TE David Morgan

Placed on Reserve/NFI:

DE Tashawn Bower

NFC East Notes: McCown, Treadwell, Cowboys

The Eagles made a surprising decision to sign Josh McCown out of retirement on Saturday, and the fact that they gave McCown a $2MM guarantee suggests that he is a lock to make the roster. Indeed, Eliot Shorr-Parks of 94 WIP reports that Philadelphia was trying to sign McCown even before presumptive QB2 Nate Sudfeld was sidelined with a wrist injury (Twitter link). Shorr-Parks notes in a separate tweet that HC Doug Pederson declined to say whether Sudfeld will remain the primary backup. Pederson said he will figure that out when Sudfeld heals.

Let’s round up a few more NFC East items:

  • Former first-round pick Laquon Treadwell is on the trade block, and Matt Lombardo of NJ.com believes the Giants could make a play for him. Treadwell played under New York head coach Pat Shurmur when the latter served as the Vikings’ offensive coordinator, and Shurmur held the Ole Miss product in high regard not that long ago. Given the current state of the Giants’ WR depth chart, Lombardo suggests it would be reasonable for Big Blue to send a sixth- or seventh-round pick to Minnesota to see if a change of scenery can unlock some of Treadwell’s potential.
  • Cowboys owner Jerry Jones may not want to meet QB Dak Prescott‘s asking price — said to be at least $35MM per year — but he confirmed that Prescott’s eventual contract will put him in the top tier of quarterbacks. Jones said, “[a] lot of people question whether Dak is one of those guys that need to be in the top tier. I’ve never questioned that. I don’t think there’s any doubt that he’s in the top level of paid quarterbacks…Now, how do we make this all fit and what can we do to have the best team around him? That’s what we’re trying to work on” (Twitter link via Jon Machota of The Athletic).
  • Tony Pollard‘s performance in training camp and the preseason may be giving the Cowboys a little leverage in their contract talks with Ezekiel Elliott, and Jones said “Zeke who?” when asked if Pollard is becoming the team’s best negotiator with Elliott (Twitter link via Machota). Jones made it clear he was joking and said he believes Pollard will be an excellent complement to, and not a replacement for, Elliott (in case you missed it, we heard this morning that Elliott will not face criminal charges for the altercation between him and a security guard in May).
  • Despite spending the entire 2018 season out of football, Cowboys WR Devin Smith has a legitimate chance of cracking the team’s roster, as Machota tweets. Smith caught a TD pass in Dallas’ preseason contest on Saturday, and his play has been very strong over the past week. The former Jets second-rounder signed a reserve/futures deal with the Cowboys in January.

Vikings’ Laquon Treadwell On Trade Block

In three seasons, Laquon Treadwell has not come especially close to justifying his draft slot (No. 23 overall in 2016), and the Vikings predictably did not pick up the wideout’s fifth-year option in May. As training camp has progressed, Treadwell trade rumors persist.

Believed to be available during the draft, Treadwell is back on the trade block, Albert Breer of SI.com notes. Specifically, the emergence of second-year UDFA Chad Beebe has prompted the Vikings to make Treadwell available.

Despite Beebe catching just four passes as a rookie, he and former Broncos backup Jordan Taylor were listed ahead of Treadwell on Minnesota’s initial 2019 depth chart. Although neither Taylor nor Beebe is a sure bet to produce, their depth chart placement is obviously concerning for Treadwell’s 2019 prospects. The former Ole Miss talent has not been able to overcome the slow 40-yard dash time (4.63 seconds) he posted at his pro day, joining receivers Corey Coleman and Josh Doctson as underwhelming out of the 2016 first round. Treadwell finished 2018 with a career-high 35 catches but posted only an 8.6-yard average.

Of Treadwell’s $1.8MM base salary, $1.15MM is guaranteed. The Vikings have both starters, Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs, now making at least $14MM per year — the first NFL team to have two receivers in this salary bracket. Finding cheap auxiliary help for the veteran-heavy team will continue to be a goal. They just unloaded a fifth-round pick for Kaare Vedvik and perhaps would like to recoup that in a Treadwell trade. The Vikings would likely accept a Day 3 choice for the contract-year receiver, Breer adds.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Vikings To Decline Treadwell’s Option

The Vikings are not expected to pick up the fifth-year option for wide receiver Laquon Treadwell, according to Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press (on Twitter). The Vikings technically have until the Friday deadline to make the call, but barring a change in thinking, Treadwell will be on course for free agency after the 2019 season. 

The 2020 option for Treadwell would have called for a $10.162MM salary. Although it would have been guaranteed for injury only, it was a risk that the front office was unwilling to take. Treadwell, 24 in June, has done little to justify his selection at No. 23 overall in 2016. Last year, he had 35 catches for 302 yards and one touchdown, and that was his most productive season to date.

In fact, Treadwell profiles as a trade candidate after a series of costly mistakes in 2018. The Vikings probably won’t get much for him, but there are likely evaluators out there who feel that they can harness the talent he displayed just three years ago.

In 2016, Treadwell, was widely projected as a top-15 pick before a slow 40-yard dash time and other concerns about his game hurt his draft stock. Still, the Chiefs and other clubs were targeting him in the lower-third of the first round before the Vikings snatched him.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Breer’s Latest: Jets, Broncos, Rudolph

Some assorted notes from SI.com’s Albert Breer leading up to tonight’s draft…

  • The Jets are beginning to gain some traction on a deal involving the third-overall pick. Breer mentions that the Redskins could be a match, with the team presumably eyeing a quarterback. Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins could be an option, as could Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray (if he isn’t taken with the first-overall pick). Breer notes that if the Jets remain in the top-10, they could opt for Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver, who one scout described as “the epitome of a [defensive coordinator] Gregg Williams player.”
  • Missouri quarterback Drew Lock is “rising continuously in draft meetings” among the Broncos front office. The team could be eyeing him with pick No. 10, or they could be preparing for a scenario where Lock falls towards the bottom of the first round.
  • After paying Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen, Eric Kendricks, Anthony Barr and Danielle Hunter, the Vikings could be looking to deal one of their other pricey veterans. Tight end Kyle Rudolph could be a trade candidate, and Breer writes that he wouldn’t be shocked if the Patriots make a play for the pass-catcher. The writer mentions cornerbacks Xavier Rhodes and Trae Waynes as well as wideout Laquon Treadwell as trade candidates.
  • Two players who are set to play on their fifth-year option are on the block. Breer writes that Eagles receiver Nelson Agholor and 49ers defensive end Arik Armstead “have been part of trade discussions.” On the flip side, Breer believes that it’s unlikely that the 49ers trade defensive lineman Solomon Thomas.
  • If Mississippi State’s Montez Sweat gets past the Redskins (No. 15), Panthers (No. 16), or Seahawks (No.21), Breer is unsure how far the defensive end could end up falling. Breer points to the Rams as a potential fit at the end of the first round. Reports indicated that Sweat was diagnosed with a heart condition, although there were rumblings today that he may have been misdiagnosed.

Vikings Rumors: DeFilippo, O-Line, Barr

John DeFilippo played a big part in the Vikings‘ quarterback search. The new Minnesota offensive coordinator began studying film of the team’s three previous quarterbacks — Sam Bradford, Teddy Bridgewater and Case Keenum — on his first morning with the team in mid-February, Ben Goessling of the Minneapolis Star Tribune notes. This process of finding a potential long-term option in Kirk Cousins also included scouting of QBs that weren’t Cousins or the Vikings’ free agent trio, per Goessling, who adds QBs coach Kevin Stefanski was also involved in this process, along with Rick Spielman and Mike Zimmer. DeFilippo and Cousins met at dinner the night before the new Minnesota starter signed his three-year, $84MM contract, per Goessling. Minnesota has not had a quarterback make it through three straight seasons as the primary starter since Daunte Culpepper in the early 2000s, and DeFilippo called the franchise’s signal-caller search as thorough as anything he’s been involved with in the NFL.

Here’s the latest from the Twin Cities:

  • Previously stationed at right tackle at Vikings OTAs, Mike Remmers took reps exclusively at right guard during one of the OTA sessions this week, Andrew Krammer of the Star Tribune reports. Third-year UDFA Rashod Hill, in turn, lined up at right tackle. This was the Vikings’ arrangement at the end of last season. Remmers worked as the Panthers’ starting right tackle from 2014-16. Tom Compton, who worked as the primary right guard last week, alternated at left guard with Danny Isidora, per Krammer. Slotting Remmers at guard would give second-round pick Brian O’Neill an easier path to playing time, but it’s uncertain what Remmers’ primary position will be this season.
  • Anthony Barr reported to the Vikings this week and did so after taking out an insurance policy, Krammer notes. He missed the first week of Vikes OTAs while he ironed out this policy, which will cover him for injury while he’s still attached to his rookie deal. Barr remains hopeful he and the Vikings can come to terms before training camp. Minnesota agreed to extensions with Everson Griffen, Xavier Rhodes and Linval Joseph in a 10-day span just as camp began last year, and it would make sense Barr — one of the team’s big re-up candidates this year — would be the top priority for a pre-camp deal.
  • Despite being a first-round pick, Laquon Treadwell has 21 receptions (and no touchdowns) in two years. However, the Ole Miss product is not categorizing 2018 as a make-or-break year, Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press notes. The Vikings cut Jarius Wright and have not re-signed Michael Floyd, potentially giving Treadwell a chance to move into the No. 3 wideout role. However, Minnesota’s Kendall Wright deal could impede that. Neverthless, it could be a stretch the Vikings pick up Treadwell’s fifth-year option in May of 2019 at this rate.

Impact Rookies: Minnesota Vikings

The old adage that defense wins championships may or may not be true, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a title-winning team that didn’t build heavily through the draft. Rookie classes, naturally, are evaluated on the perceived upside of the NFL newcomers, but which rookies are ready to contribute right out of the gate? And, how do they fit in with their new team schematically?

To help us forecast the immediate future of these NFL neophytes, we enlisted the help of draft guru Dave-Te Thomas who has served as a scouting personnel consultant to NFL teams for multiple decades.

There hasn’t been much turnover in Minnesota as just two starting positions seem to be changing from the first unit that completed the 2015 season. That might not be a good thing on offense, where the Vikings ranked 31st in the league in passing yardage (183.0 ypg) and touchdown passes (14), even though Teddy Bridgewater did try to keep his passes out of the hands of the opposition, tying for the fifth-lowest mark in the NFL by tossing just nine interceptions.

With a well-fortified running game, led by Adrian Peterson, with solid understudies in Matt Asiata and Jerick McKinnon, the Vikes rolled to the tune of 138.2 yards per game on the ground (fourth in the NFL), finding the end zone on eighteen of their carries. The front wall was an obvious problem for the team, failing to protect their young quarterback, tying for seventh-worst in the league by allowing 43 sacks in 2015.

The team shuffled bodies up front and also saw former right tackle Phil Loadbolt retire. Former 49ers guard Alex Boone takes over on the left side, with Brandon Fusco shifting to right guard. Fusco struggled last season, perhaps from the effects from a September concussion, but he has missed a good portion of camp this year, forcing projected starting center, the ever versatile Joe Berger, to slide over to right guard.

John Sullivan, who dealt with his own injury issues after 2014, takes over at center, with Berger at guard. Meanwhile, 2015 right tackle T.J. Clemmings appears heading for the bench with former Cincinnati first rounder Andre Smith taking over that position. Bridgewater could receive added blocking protection this season, if the coaches can figure a way to get 2016 strong-man, tight end David Morgan, more opportunities to be on the field.

Underrated fourth round left tackle, Western Michigan’s Willie Beavers is a work in progress, but intrigued the coaching staff at the Senior Bowl and will be given time to develop. However, if former 2012 first round pick Matt Kalil does not turn around the slide in his career, Beavers might have to be pressed into action before he is ready for prime time.

Morgan has been dominant throughout camp as a blocker, but after pulling in 45 passes last season at Texas-San Antonio, he’s hoping to prove to the staff that he is a valid three-down player. If they are convinced he is the total package, it could cut into 2015 fifth round Mycole Pruitt’s playing time behind starter Kyle Rudolph, who has had injury issues in the past.

Stefon Diggs proved to be a fifth round find at split end last season and his continued emergence makes 2013 first round bust, Cordarrelle Patterson, a possible roster casualty, if he does not start applying himself. The arrival of first round Ole Miss standout Laquon Treadwell, promises to take away most of Patterson’s chances to impress, as the rookie is likely to push Charles Johnson to the second unit at flanker before the year ends.

First Round – Laquon Treadwell, WR (Ole Miss, No. 23 overall)

Coming out of Crete-Monee (Ill.) High School, Treadwell was a highly sought-after five-star recruit who escaped the grasp of Big Ten Conference teams in his own backyard. He was the consensus top-rated receiver during his prep senior year after leading his team to the state title by catching 81 passes for 1,424 yards and sixteen touchdowns while playing all three receiver positions. He proved to be dangerous out of the backfield, scoring seven times on reverses and he showed why he had gained so much knowledge avoiding cornerbacks, as he also had defensive starting experience, posting 56 tackles with six interceptions in 2012. Laquon Treadwell

Treadwell is an aggressive route runner, using his size and strength to power through arm tackles. He does a nice job of sinking his pads and changing direction working underneath and has that deceptive second gear to head north after catching the ball in the seam. He has loose hips to spin away from contact after the catch, but not enough to execute a pirouette and leave defenders grabbing at air. He is especially effective with his plant-and-drive on crossing and out routes. He has a good array of head fakes to sell the route and keeps his hands active to get to the ball on comebacks (see 2015 Memphis, LSU and Oklahoma State games). He has the eyes to see when the quarterback is in trouble, showing urgency coming back to help there. He is most effective when going for the ball on step back throws. He runs at a proper pad level and it is very rare to see him round some coming out of his breaks, as he has the footwork and balance to recover when trying to get in and out of his cuts.

This kid has exceptional hands, along with a large radius that allows him to go outside his framework to reach for the ball in stride. He has the ability to adjust and scoop up the low throws with ease. He has the hand strength to win battles with arm tackles or to defeat jam, showing nice “fire in his belly” to compete for extra yards after the catch. He is not the type that you will see double-catching or letting the ball absorb into his body, as he has great confidence in his large mitts to look the ball in.

Although he did not go as high in the draft as once anticipated, Treadwell can be a big difference maker for the Vikings right from the jump.

Continue reading about the Vikings’ rookie class..

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Vikings Sign Laquon Treadwell

SATURDAY, 8:50am: The deal is official, according to the Vikings’ PR department.

THURSDAY, 2:35pm: The Vikings have signed first-round wide receiver Laquon Treadwell, according to a tweet from his agents at ISM. Treadwell was selected with the No. 23 overall pick. Laquon Treadwell

Treadwell, was widely projected as a top-15 pick before a slow 40-yard dash time and other concerns about his game hurt his draft stock. That disappointing performance didn’t deter the Vikings, however, who see Treadwell as a potential star receiver to pair with quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. The Vikings are hoping to have a potent aerial attack starring Stefon Diggs, Charles Johnson, and their newest first-round choice. Of course, if they can get production out of the once-promising Cordarrelle Patterson, things will be looking even better for Minnesota’s offense.

The Chiefs reportedly tried to trade up to get Treadwell. After the Ole Miss product went to the Vikings at No. 23, the Chiefs traded out of the first round, converting that selection into a second-round pick (No. 37), a fourth-round pick (No. 105), a sixth-round pick (No. 178), and a seventh-round pick (No. 249) from the 49ers.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.