#4| Laquon Treadwell
The Vikings used their 2016 first round pick on the big wide receiver out of Ole Miss. They loved his big mitts, red zone ability, and his excellent blocking ability. They had high hopes for him as a rookie. What they got instead was one lousy reception. Treadwell was slow to adapt to the NFL game, and was also hampered by injuries. The emergence of WR Adam Thielen didn’t help his cause, and Treadwell was rarely active on game day. The team would love to see him blossom into a solid NFL receiver, who can make the tough grabs in traffic, and make life that much easier for QB Sam Bradford.
Why Treadwell’s Performance is so Important
Stefon Diggs has emerged as the Vikings primary receiver. He’s a burner who can stretch the field vertically and make big time plays. Next to him is Adam Thielen. Thieln isn’t the fastest or biggest guy, but he’s a crisp route runner, who is sure handed and knows how to get open. The Vikings also have TE Kyle Rudolph who can create mismatches in the middle of the field and work wonders in the red zone. Treadwell would give the Vikings another weapon similar to Rudolph. Treadwell is an excellent hands catcher who can go up and fight for contested balls. He can be used outside or in the slot, and should thrive in the red zone. Treadwell is a physical player, who is one of the best blocking wide receivers the team has. So if he can get on the field consistently it won’t just help the passing attack, but it would also be a big boon to the running attack. If Treadwell can become a starter, and grow into a capable NFL receiver, it will make life much easier for Sam Bradford, as it gives him another big, reliable target to throw to. Treadwell’s emergence would also take any potential double teams away from Diggs, allowing the burner to get down the field and create explosive plays.
Treadwell cracks the starting lineup and plays in all 16 games. He uses his big frame and physical style of play to make tough catches and earns Sam Bradford’s trust. He along with Diggs, and Thielen, make a solid receiving trio and cause defenses all kinds of problems. Sam Bradford goes on to have a big year, and the Vikings offense becomes as good as it’s defense. The team wins the division and makes a deep playoff run, that ultimately ends in heart breaking fashion.
Treadwell doesn’t take the next step or he gets injured. The Vikings once again use Thielen and Diggs as the primary receiving options. Defenses can double team Diggs, taking away the deep threat. This hinders the Vikings offense, and Sam Bradford struggles badly. The team simply can’t score, and they finish with a losing record.