Laquon Treadwell

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.

Chiefs Tried To Trade Up For Laquon Treadwell

The Chiefs tried to trade up to get wide receiver Laquon Treadwell, according to Alex Marvez of FOX Sports (on Twitter). After the Ole Miss product went to the Vikings at No. 23, the Chiefs traded out of the first round. Laquon Treadwell

It appears that the Chiefs were fixated on taking Treadwell with the No. 28 pick and when he was gone, they were content with 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. At the time of the deal, some speculated that the Chiefs were trading out because they had missed out on Paxton Lynch, who went to the Broncos at No. 26.

The first round also saw fellow wide receivers Corey Coleman (Browns), Wil Fuller (Texans), Josh Doctson (Washington), and Treadwell come off the board. If the Chiefs are still thinking wide receiver, they could look into the likes of Ohio State’s Michael Thomas (widely regarded as the best WR left), Oklahoma’s Sterling Shepard, South Carolina’s Pharoh Cooper, Colorado State’s Rashard Higgins, and PIttsburgh product Tyler Boyd.

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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Draft Rumors: Saints, Browns, Treadwell, Vikes

Earlier today, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reported that the Saints “had talks” about potentially moving up to the No. 1 pick, before Tennessee ultimately sent the pick to Los Angeles. At the time, I noted that it wasn’t clear whether Rapoport was suggesting New Orleans actually engaged the Titans in trade talks, or whether the Saints simply had internal discussions about the possibility.

According to Mike Triplett of ESPN.com, however, a source said the Saints had no talks about trading for the first overall pick. Once again, it’s not entirely clear whether Triplett is referring to discussions between the Saints and Titans, or simply internal conversations in New Orleans, so it’s possible he and Rapoport are on different pages. In any case, it seems as though the team was never serious about the idea of moving way up in the first round.

In fact, that source tells Triplett that the Saints are more likely to trade down than up, adding that the idea of drafting quarterback Paxton Lynch appears to be a long shot, at best. The club is more likely to add a QB in the middle rounds of the draft, says Triplett.

With the start of the draft just a little over two days away, let’s round up several more updates and rumors from around the league…

  • The Browns remain “wide open” to the possibility of trading down from No. 8, tweets Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com. In a full column detailing draft-day trade scenarios for the Browns and a handful of other teams, La Canfora goes into more detail, suggesting that Cleveland wouldn’t mind landing Ole Miss wide receiver Laquon Treadwell or possibly Michigan State tackle Jack Conklin.
  • Speaking today to reporters, including Matt Vensel of the Star Tribune (Twitter link), Vikings general manager Rick Spielman said he has heard from a couple teams about trades involving the No. 23 pick. Both scenarios would involve the Vikings trading down, while one of the two would mean moving out of the first round entirely.
  • In his final Scouting Notebook before the draft, Matt Miller of Bleacher Report provides a ton of interesting tidbits, touching briefly on each of the league’s 32 teams to discuss which players or positions they’ll be targeting.
  • Clemson safety T.J. Green, Oklahoma State defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah, and USC linebacker/safety Su’a Cravens are all receiving consideration in the back half of the first round, according to tweets from Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, Alex Marvez of FOX Sports, and Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, respectively.

Draft Rumors: Treadwell, Ragland, Correa, Jets

The Jets have been eyeing linebackers Reggie Ragland (Alabama) and Kamalei Correa (Boise State) in recent days, according to Tony Pauline of WalterFootball.com. Ragland, specifically, would act as a future replacement for veteran David Harris, but he could be in play as high as pick No. 13 to the Dolphins. However, Washington and the Packers are seen as the most likely landing spots for Ragland, per Pauline.

Let’s take a look at some more draft rumors, all courtesy of Pauline…

  • The Giants have been linked to wide receiver Laquon Treadwell, but Pauline speculates that New York could trade down from the No. 10 pick before selecting him. The Titans (pick No. 15) would make for an ideal trade partner, and they could move up with their sights set on offensive tackle Jack Conklin.
  • Conklin is a popular name in the top half of Round 1, as Pauline reports that the Browns are interested in the Michigan State product with the eighth pick. Conklin would act as a replacement for Mitchell Schwartz, who departed via free agency, at right tackle.
  • The Panthers lost Josh Norman after rescinding his franchise tag, but they have their eye on another corner in the draft, as Pauline says Carolina could select Southeastern Louisiana defensive back Harlan Miller at the end of the third round. Miller had a private workout with the Panthers earlier this month.
  • Some general managers think Ohio State’s Nick Vannett is the only true three-down tight end available in the draft, which could help his stock. The Chargers and Falcons will consider taking Vannett in Round 2 or 3, per Pauline.

Extra Points: Treadwell, Spence, Jets, Giants

Ian Rapoport of NFL.com adds one more club to the list of teams bringing in Ole Miss wideout Laquon Treadwell for visits, tweeting that Treadwell will meet with the Jets on Wednesday. Eastern Kentucky pass rusher Noah Spence will be visiting Gang Green on Wednesday as well, per Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, who adds that UCLA receiver Devin Fuller met with New York today (Twitter links).

Here are a few more notes from around the NFL, with a heavy emphasis on draft visits…

  • Carson Wentz isn’t the only North Dakota State prospect making the rounds — fullback/tight end Andrew Bonnet finsihed a visit with the Giants tonight, and has also met with the Panthers, reports Tony Pauline of DraftInsider.net (Twitter link).
  • San Jose State running back Tyler Ervin is visiting the Rams on Tuesday, per Tom Pelissero of USA Today (Twitter link). Ervin rushed for more than 1,600 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2015.
  • Cornerback Ryan Smith has taken visits with the Raiders, Dolphins, and Vikings, the North Carolina Central product tells Alex Marvez on SiriusXM NFL Radio (Twitter link).
  • Offensive lineman Ben Ijalana‘s one-year deal with the Jets is worth $840K, according to Rich Cimini of ESPN.com (Twitter link), who adds that Ijalana receives $150K guaranteed.
  • The Seahawks will work out running back Giavanni Ruffin tomorrow, tweets Jared Tokarz of WhosNextFootball.com. Ruffin, who hasn’t played football since way back in 2010, posted 692 rushing yards for East Carolina between 2009-10.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

NFC Rumors: Treadwell, Giants, Packers, Rams, Britt

Here’s a look at the NFC:

  • Ole Miss wide receiver Laquon Treadwell identified the Giants and Bears last month as two teams that had shown interest in him. Now, he’ll visit both of those clubs. Rand Getlin of the NFL Network tweets that Treadwell will visit the Giants on Monday, then the Bears after that.
  • With seven members of the Packers‘ 2016 free agent class still unsigned, Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com explores whether or not Green Bay will eventually re-sign players like fullback John Kuhn, linebacker Mike Neal, and others.
  • Rams wide receiver Kenny Britt has signed with agent Fadde Mikhail for representation, as Liz Mullen of Sports Business Journal tweets. Britt, a Rutgers product, was formally repped by SportsTrust Advisors. Britt, 28 in September, caught 36 passes for 681 yards and three touchdowns in 2015. That was a step back from 2015 when he hauled in 48 passes for 748 yards and three scores. Britt is scheduled to carry a cap number of $4.85MM this season before hitting the open market.
  • The Cardinals met with Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott on Thursday, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.
  • Texas-El Paso defensive end Roy Robertson-Harris is set to visit the Packers next, Rand Getlin of NFL.com tweets.
  • Linebacker Leonard Floyd has been visiting the Bears over the past two days, Rand Getlin of NFL.com tweets.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.