Laquon Treadwell heads to the draft after making seven visits
At a time when some believe that multiple teams will pass on Mississippi receiver Laquon Treadwell due to a slower-than-expected 40-yard dash time, plenty of fans are hoping that he falls -- right into the clutches of their favorite teams.
Fans of certain teams should be paying more attention to this possibility than other, based on the visits Treadwell has made before the draft. In an interview taped Monday afternoon for Tuesday’s PFT Live on NBC Sports Radio, Treadwell rattled off the seven teams he visited: the Browns, Cowboys, 49ers, Giants, Jets, Bears, and Vikings.
It’s still unclear whether and to what extent Treadwell’s relatively slow straight-line, no-pads speed will hurt him. It’s not as if anyone expected Treadwell to run a 4.3. And it’s not as if every team blindly clings to 40-yard dash time without considering other factors.
“We all want to know how fast a guy can run because there’s one thing you can’t coach and that’s speed,” Texans G.M. Rick Smith said Friday during his pre-draft press conference. “The 40-yard dash is an important element to some of the ancillary things that we use to evaluate these players. The most important thing is play speed though. Because there are guys who can run a 40-yard dash, and who train for the combine and do all those techniques and all those things that these speed coaches and places are teaching these guys to do, so they can run a fast 40. But they don’t play that fast. There’s two different speeds that we look at. We try to estimate how fast a guy plays. Then we want to know how fast he can run a 40. Just straight out, how much speed does he have? But there are guys who run 4.48 who play at 4.48 that guys that run 4.3 that they don’t play that fast.”
For Treadwell, the question is how fast he plays and, ultimately, how well he plays. If he can make contested catches, it doesn’t matter if he can’t blaze past NFL defensive backs.
Regardless, fans of the Browns, Cowboys, 49ers, Giants, Jets, Bears, and Vikings should be paying close attention to how quickly Treadwell hears his name called on Thursday night. One NFL team could end up being very happy that Treadwell is there when they prepare to write a name on a draft card.