The Minnesota Vikings committed to improving the passing game in the offseason, and they held true to that promise on draft night, selecting Mississippi wide receiver Laquon Treadwell with the No. 23 overall pick.
Treadwell, 20, becomes the first Ole Miss wide receiver ever chosen in the first round of the NFL Draft.
Treadwell suffered a gruesome injury that included a broken fibula and dislocated ankle that ended his 2014 season.
But he rebounded as a junior to lead the Southeastern Conference with 11 touchdown receptions last fall. Overall he caught 82 passes for 1,153 yards and helping to lead Ole Miss to a Sugar Bowl victory.
But he's not just an accomplished receiver. He also will help the Vikings running game.
At 6-foot-2 and 221 pounds Treadwell has the height and strength to have a competitive edge when the ball is in the air. The Vikings say that he has a natural feel for the nuances of the position and is careful to shield cornerbacks from the ball when he works back for it.
The knock on him was his 4.63 time in the 40.
The Star Tribune notes that Treadwell is the fourth wide receiver the Vikings have selected in the first round since trading Randy Moss to the Oakland Raiders in 2005. The others include:
- Troy Williamson
- Percy Harvin
- Cordarrelle Patterson
The hope is that he will give the Vikings the big physical receiver they have lacked since they traded Moss.