Laquon Treadwell has 21 catches in his two NFL seasons. He’ll need to produce much more in his third season to save his career with the Vikings.
When the Minnesota Vikings selected Laquon Treadwell with the No. 23 pick of the 2016 NFL Draft, they hoped he’d develop into a number one wide receiver. This season, he’ll have to prove he can provide value as a third receiver for his team. Unfortunately, the former Ole Miss star doesn’t seem to understand just how important this season is for his career.
Treadwell told reporters that he’s not going to “put the pressure” on himself to make this season a make or break year. Evidently he didn’t major in economics in college. The enigmatic wide receiver hasn’t come close to providing his team the value required of a first-round draft pick.
There are no excuses for Treadwell if he can’t find a way to put up better numbers this season. The Vikings offense is loaded with talent. The team paid big money to bring Kirk Cousins in to play quarterback. The Vikings arguably have two of the top 20 wideouts in the league with Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. Kyle Rudolph gives Cousins an excellent weapon at the tight end position.
Opposing defenses won’t be in any position to focus on Minnesota’s third receiver. If Treadwell can hold off Kendall Wright to secure that spot in the team’s pecking order, he should see single coverage on almost every snap. It’s even possible that defenses will try to get away with covering the Vikings third receiver with safeties and linebackers at times.
Clearly, Treadwell has the type of talent to exploit those mismatches. The question is whether or not he can focus enough to get the most out of that talent. To date, the answer to that question has been a resounding no. You’d like to think he would be feeling a lot of pressure to justify the team’s faith in him.
All Treadwell really needs to do is listen to coach Mike Zimmer if he wants to understand the gravity of this season. He says it’s important for a player “any time (they) are in (their) third year.” That certainly applies to a high draft pick who’s done nothing so far during his professional career.
If Treadwell doesn’t find a way to positively impact the Vikings this season, he may be searching for a new home next summer. Minnesota isn’t in a position to carry dead salary on its books. Treadwell either needs to step up or ship out.