And the results were pretty much as expected.
Treadwell, who opted not to run at the NFL Combine last month, posted times of 4.65 and 4.63 at Ole Miss’ pro day Monday afternoon. Though not necessarily considered fast for arguably the top wide receiver in the 2016 class, Treadwell still believes it was a good showing.
“I’m glad with what I ran,” he said. “I’m proud of myself. I wanted to run better, of course, but I’m proud of what I ran. It was a lot of pressure. You want to do your best. Me being a competitor, I wanted to look good and do it the best way I can. I worked extremely hard. To get it past me and never have to run a 40 again … it was fun.”
The 6-foot-2, 221-pound Treadwell is expected to be the first player drafted at his position when teams make their picks in the NFL Draft in Chicago, Ill., next month. He recently held private workouts with the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys. Up next are sessions with the Miami Dolphins and Cincinnati Bengals, among others.
“They’re all trying to figure me out and see who I am as a person and get to know me more,” he said. “I’m trying to put my best foot forward and show them what type of person I am. I’m opening up and trying to get to know them more also. Hopefully on draft day whichever team I go to it’ll be a blessing.”
Treadwell said he didn’t run at the combine because he “didn’t feel comfortable,” and he left it at that. His speed has been, more or less, the lone concern for teams as he’s gone about the process, though Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze was quick to point out the on-field production of his star wideout, who was one of three finalists for the Biletnikoff Award (given to the nation’s most outstanding wide receiver) after leading the SEC in receiving with 1,153 yards as a junior.
Treadwell was named All-SEC and received All-American honors. Ole Miss finished 10-3 last season, including a blowout win over Oklahoma State in the Sugar Bowl.
“I don’t know that there are a lot of questions on it,” Freeze said. “He ran exactly what I thought he’d run. If you’re looking for just a guy that can run a straight line fast, that’s not what he is. If you’re looking for a guy that when you put on the tape (he) can use his physical presence and his body to win in one-on-one situations in tight quarters and can win 50-50 balls, that’s him. I don’t watch a lot of NFL football games, but I see the highlights, and I don’t really see anybody running away from those (defensive backs) in that league. I’d take my chances with a guy like Laquon who can win in those tight quarters in one-on-one situations.”
“Everybody out there has their wants and their needs,” Treadwell said. “(Top-end speed) is not my game, I guess. I don’t have to run a 4.2 to win on a deep ball. I just play ball. I don’t go into it thinking I have to run super fast past you to beat you. I work on techniques and trying to beat you on different points and attacking the ball and making a play for the team. Everybody has their wants and needs, you just have to do what you do.”
Treadwell said physicality is his greatest strength.
“Just attacking the ball,” he said. “I’m not afraid to take a hit, and I’m really not afraid to go across the middle and make the tough plays and the tough catches with a defender around me. I’m just a bigger-bodied receiver, and I try to play like that.”
Current draft projections for Treadwell are all over the board. NFL.com analysts Bucky Brooks and Daniel Jeremiah currently peg Treadwell as a mid-to-late first round selection, while Charles Davis and Lance Zierlein cast him as a mid-first selection.
In his most-recent mock, Todd McShay of ESPN had Treadwell to the Los Angeles Rams at No. 15 overall. He has roughly 15 private workouts scheduled with teams over the next three weeks, including seven that are bringing him in for a top-30 visit, according to Sporting News.
He finished his Ole Miss career with 202 receptions for 2,393 yards and 21 scores.
“It’s amazing,” Treadwell said. “It’s really a blessing. Growing up, I never thought I’d be in this spot right now getting ready for the pro days and draft. I told myself to continue to work hard. After my injury, I never thought I’d be right back. It’s crazy. It’s a blessing. I’m grateful. I try to make the most of the experience and capture every picture and moment I can and enjoy it all.”