Former Ole Miss star out to prove he's the unquestioned No. 1 wide receiver in his draft class

Laquon Treadwell isn’t running the 40-yard dash at this weeks’ NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis, Ind.

The former Ole Miss wide receiver has his reasons.

Treadwell switched facilities midway through draft training. He said he hasn't had sufficient time to prepare for the 40, though he’s confident he’ll run in his targeted range of the low 4.5s or better come Ole Miss pro day March 28.

“I just didn’t have enough time,” said Treadwell, who’s training in Miami. Parrish Alford of the Daily Journal provided the quotes for this report. “Well, I had enough time to prepare, but I was training at one facility. I switched facilities in the mid-training process, just wasn’t getting the work I needed to run my best time. Now I’m just getting comfortable at the new spot and learning my techniques. I figured if I have enough time to work on it I’ll get the time I want.”

He was peppered with questions regarding his decision when addressing the media Thursday, following a week filled with stories and heated debate on television and social media from national pundits. Many, though, understood his thinking and don’t believe his decision will have any affect on his draft stock. 

“Watch the tape,” ESPN’s Todd McShay said on the network’s NFL Live. “He reminds me a lot of Dez Bryant. He’s physical, he gets off the press, he tracks the ball well and he’s physical after the catch. These individual workouts and the pro day and the combine running (are) not as important as the tape.”

“The questions, they don’t really bother me,” Treadwell said, adding the reasoning behind his decision was simply a matter of doing what was best for him right now. “I still have to go out there and play and have the production on the field. I don’t let it get to me. I’ll run what I run and just stay confident in myself.”

Treadwell was one of three finalists for the Biletnikoff Award (given to the nation’s most outstanding wide receiver) after he leading the SEC in receiving with 1,153 yards as a junior in 2015. He was named All-SEC and received All-American honors. Ole Miss finished 10-3, including a blowout win over Oklahoma State in the Sugar Bowl.

“It’s kind of outdated,” Grant Heard, who coached Treadwell the last three years as wide receivers coach at Ole Miss, said of the 40-yard dash. “You like it to know how fast they are, but if you watch the guys on tape and they play fast, it might not always equate to their 40 time. I’d much rather see you play fast on the field than how fast you run a 40 ‘cause normally no one runs a straight line anyway. 

“With ‘Quon, the film doesn’t lie. His 40 time might not be great, or it may not be a 4.3 like some of these other guys, but it plays fast. That’s what you’re looking for.”

Current draft projections for Treadwell are all over the board. NFL.com analysts Bucky Brooks and Daniel Jeremiah currently peg Treadwell as a late first round selection, while Charles Davis and Lance Zierlein cast him as a mid-first selection.

In his most-recent mock, Mel Kiper of ESPN sent Treadwell to the Los Angeles Rams at No. 15 overall.

Treadwell isn’t all that concerned about where he lands. He said he’s simply trying to get better and show teams his “energy for the game, my passion, my competitiveness in any other thing I do.” He’ll let the chips fall where they may.

“I think I’ll only get better,” he said. “I’ll continue to work, continue to get the best training now that I’m at the highest level. I’ll just continue to push myself to get better, and my game will show eventually.

“I wouldn’t say that I would model my game after anyone. I do like the way Dez Bryant plays, the way he attacks the ball and makes plays, makes the difficult plays. So there are similarities there, but I don’t like to model myself after anyone. I have learned to create my own style of play.”

Treadwell Leftovers:

(On the toughest CB he faced in college:) “I mean, I wouldn’t consider anyone tough in college. You had teams that had great players. I just never got a one-on-one matchup where I (thought) that guy would stop me or that guy would shut me down. There were some great guys: Cyrus Jones, the guy from Florida, not Vernon Hargreaves, the younger guy. The Mississippi State cornerback was great. It’s a lot of good cornerbacks.”

(On overcoming his significant leg injury:) “Mentally. I just feel like I can overcome anything. I’ve been through so much in a certain time period, coming back from the injury in 2014 and being here today. It made me appreciate the game more and made me want to work harder. Just continue to get better, continue to push myself to a new level. I just don’t take the game for granted. My mentality towards the game is completely different.”

(On if teams view his recovery from injury as a show of his resolve:) “To a certain extent. Some look at it as, ‘He can overcome adversity.’ Some really don’t care, so I just feel like it showed how I really love the game, how passionate I am, my dedication toward the game and my commitment.”

(On his mindset during rehab:) “The first night I just told myself I knew how I got where I was. I knew what I had to do was work. Some days I would be down and be like, ‘Aw man, it’s tough,’ but I just stayed with it, kept my faith. My teammates pushed me, my coaches. My family just made sure I stayed up and (in) high spirits. I just continued to work hard. It was night and day from 6 in the morning to 11 at night. Sometimes I would sleep in the facility and just stay up there and watch film, watch myself before and just try to get that comfort level, that confidence back. Some days I was getting pushed out of bounds by defensive backs and talking trash to me, but that all made me the person I am today, and I just don’t take the game for granted.”

(On the draft being held in his hometown of Chicago:) “It’s amazing. They say God works in mysterious ways. Just the draft being in Chicago, me being hurt last year then being back healthy and being able to be drafted in my home city, family going to be there. It’s going to be historical. It’s going to be an amazing time for me. I’ll cherish it, and that’s something I’ll never forget.”


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