Why the Eagles should avoid drafting Laquon Treadwell

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As the workouts continue and the speculation grows, nobody really knows what position the Eagles are going to do with their first round pick in this years NFL Draft. From the Ezekiel Elliott hype to the idea of trading up to take a Quarterback, Eagles fans have heard just about everything regarding the future of the Eagles’ first round pick..but there’s one first round prospect who has held in high regard by birds fans and beat writers alike for quite some time who’s stock may have just taken a huge drop.

That man is Ole Miss receiver Laquon Treadwell. Many fell in love with his size, frame and physicality..but there was one thing we didn’t know about him until yesterday..his lack of speed.

According to a report on Monday Morning Quarterback, Treadwell finally ran the 40-yard dash after leaving people in the dark ever since the combine..and he ran it in a disappointing 4.63 seconds.

It’s easy to overlook this and claim receivers such as DeAndre Hopkins also had disappointing 40-yard dash times, but Hopkins time of a 4.57 at the combine was replaced by a 4.41 at Clemson’s pro day back in 2013.

Jerry Rice also had a slow 40-yard dash time (4.71) but the pace of the game has changed dramatically since then.

So does a slow 40-yard dash time mean that Treadwell will slip out of the first round? Not at all.  After receiving for 1,153 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2015, Treadwell established himself as a consistent threat for Ole Miss. There’s no denying his raw playmaking ability, his versatility or his physicality. But should the Eagles pass on him? Absolutely.

For those who read my article on what all of the Quarterbacks who have worked out for the Eagles have in common, you’ll be familiar with my new favorite scouting tool: RAS. How does Treadwell fair in this area?

 

Not great..at all.

Compare that with Michael Thomas (currently projected to go in the second round) and the differences are astonishing.

The problem here isn’t Treadwell’s lack of athletic ability. It’s how it translates into the NFL. One of the issues that the Eagles receivers struggled with last year was creating separation off the line of scrimmage. With the exception of some impressive bursts from Nelson Agholor and Jordan Matthews, the birds wideouts often found difficulty in finding open space.

This is something that Treadwell has struggled with throughout his career and after seeing his 40-yard dash time it’s easy to see why.

Against the Florida Gators, the “explosive” Treadwell caught just five passes for a dismal 42 yards. Why? Because they played tight man-to-man coverage which meant even with all the leg strength in the world, the Ole Miss star struggled to find space. Treadwell received for less than 50 yards in three games out of 12 in the regular season..there’s a stark contrast between those games and a win against Memphis in which he was targeted 14 times.

If he’s having issues creating separation against the likes of Florida’s Secondary, is he going to be limited when he comes into the NFL? It’s not just about a weak 40 time or a lack of athleticism, it’s about being able to contribute in all aspects of play. As a strong, possession receiver..there aren’t many better. He can catch in tight coverage and force his way down the field, but can he get in a position to make those explosive plays against the best cornerbacks in the world?

Treadwell will succeed in the NFL and will likely cause many coaches to fall in love with his build and upside but in a West Coast Hybrid that’s even speculated to incorporate certain aspects of Chip Kelly’s “Up-Tempo” Offense? It’s just not the right fit. The Eagles need a vertical threat who make plays deep down the field..Treadwell is not that receiver.

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