Metrics, metrics and more metrics! That's the pervasive methodology measuring football players, particularly in the days leading up the NFL Draft. Forget years of hard work in the college ranks, how much a player bench presses or how fast they run 40 yards almost seems more important.
The measurement craze becomes front page again after Ole Miss WR Laquon Treadwell ran a pair of 40-yard-dash runs at 4.65 and 4.63 at his Pro Day. Those numbers do no mesh with recent elite speed receivers, and combined with a 33-inch vertical jump, have some folks questioning where Treadwell should be drafted.
To some, what should be much more important are the 82 catches, 11 touchdowns and more than 1,100 receiving yards Treadwell put up last year at Mississippi. In three years at Ole Miss - playing in the harder division of college football's toughest conference (SEC West) - Treadwell got to the end zone 21 times. Watch tape of Treadwell and it's clear he is an elite receiver; it's only on a field without pads that questions emerge.
And that could be good news for the Redskins.
Depending on the mock draft, Treadwell projects as a Top 20 pick, some even have him going higher than that. CSN's Ben Standig projects Treadwell going to the LA Rams with the 15th pick, but that was before his Pro Day. With the "subpar" 40 times now making their way around the NFL universe, perhaps Treadwell could fall to Washington and Scot McCloughan at No. 21.
While receiver is not the utmost position of need for the 'Skins, a talent like Treadwell could supersede any discussion of need. If McCloughan is true to his best player available mindset, it would be hard to not take a player that went for 1,153 yards as a junior in the SEC with the 21st pick. Sure, the Skins WR group is talented with Pierre Garçon and DeSean Jackson, but neither WR goes past six-foot, whereas Treadwell stands 6'2" and knows how to use his body and route running skills to get open in the red zone. Washington has lacked a big receiver for some time, and Treadwell on a rookie deal would be a tremendous value for an offense that looked explosive last season with Kirk Cousins, Garçon, Jackson and tight end Jordan Reed. Not to mention it seems unlikely both Garçon and Jackson will be Redskins after this season.
Still, some of the combine crowd might be scared off by Treadwell's apparent lack of speed. Consider this from Yahoo's Eric Edholm:
There are examples of players with similar size to Treadwell, who is 6-foot-2 and 221 pounds, who have run similar 40 times. Larry Fitzgerald, at virtually the same size, ran a 4.63 at the combine and was the third overall pick in the draft. Anquan Boldin, at 216 pounds, ran a 4.71. And Boldin's was the second-most famous 4.71 ever; Jerry Rice ran that at below 200 pounds.Keenan Allen, at 206, ran a 4.71 and a 4.75 at his pro day (coming off a knee injury but proclaimed to be healthy at the time). Dez Bryant ran in the high 4.5s at 225 pounds, Plaxico Burress was a 4.6 guy at 230 pounds and Mohamed Sanu running a 4.62 at 211 and so on and so forth.
There's no true way of telling what the Redskins will do at 21, with defensive line and secondary probably ranking as the team's highest needs. But Treadwell is a real talent, and if a slow 40 times causes him to slip, the Mississippi wideout would certainly fit McCloughan's penchant for big, physical football players. Stay tuned.
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