Laquon Treadwell doesn’t have much time for in-depth discussion on his 40-yard dash time, a 4.63-second performance at his pro day, but he has plenty of time to talk about his relationship with another Minnesota Vikings receiver who wasn’t known as a speed merchant.
Treadwell, the Vikings’ first-round pick on Thursday night, spent plenty of time with Hall of Fame receiver Cris Carter, whom he calls a mentor. Carter is willing to work with just about any high-end receiver that is willing to work hard. That, it appears, is a strong part of Treadwell’s fabric.
In between the rat race that is a draft prospect’s time between his last college game and the draft – an era that includes the NFL Scouting Combine, pro days and personal workouts – Treadwell made sure to tap Carter for knowledge. He’s found that the former Vikings receiver has plenty of that for the newest Vikings receiver.
“I think Cris would be a valuable asset to him because Cris wasn’t the fastest player coming out either, but he had a Hall of Fame career,” said Vikings general manager Rick Spielman. “Any time you can get education or insight from a player like that – not only what he was able to accomplish on the field but everything he went through off the field – is a great resource.”
Treadwell’s work ethic showed when recounting some of his predraft time. He would work out at a facility in Florida, then drive to Boca Raton to spend another 90 minutes or more with Carter.
“He would teach me a bunch of things, give me a lot of techniques,” Treadwell said. “I’m looking forward to keeping that relationship open and growing with him.”
Carter let the world know about their relationship after the Vikings drafted him.
“He’s faster than me,” Carter told Vikings.com, chuckling. “He’s the prototype ‘X’ receiver that you want, a boundary receiver. Especially in the running game, with Adrian, he’s a great blocker. If they put a safety in the box, he can go in there and block him; he can dominate a cornerback in the run game.
“(The Vikings) are going to be a play-action team, and they’ll be playing in great conditions at U.S. Bank Stadium. I think he has the potential to have a great career.”
Treadwell called Carter a “mentor” and said the secrets of the trade are slowly being dispersed to him. One of those is stretching his already large hands.
“It’s a daily exercise, but it’s a secret. It’s just about being able to grip the football and wrap your hands around the whole football and catch the whole football,” Treadwell said. “There’s many different things that he knows that I don’t know that I would love him to tell me. But every time I go, he tells me bits and bits and bits. It just keeps me wanting to talk to him and get more information out of him.”
Carter and Treadwell may have some similar traits – Carter was 6-foot-3 with the Vikings and Treadwell is 6-foot-2. Both are considered physical players who used their bodies well to help make up for a lack of elite speed.
But neither Spielman nor Treadwell likes to make comparisons.
“I want Laquon Treadwell to be him and not all these comparisons everybody is trying to make or put him in this box or that box,” Spielman said. “I want him to be who is he is and be the player he’s going to be.”
Treadwell’s 33-3/8-inch arm length was tied for fourth among receivers at the combine and best among the top prospects. His 80½-inch wing span tied for third. His 9½-inch hands were fairly average.
Treadwell spent a couple weeks with Carter, working with him about four times in between training for the combine and pro days. They are both represented by the same agency, but they have been talking for some time.
“We’ve just been talking since I was in college, just about knowledge and wisdom and giving me heads-up on certain things,” Treadwell said.
He said the best piece of advice he got from Carter was “never be late.”
The two talked again on Friday morning when Carter had a chance to privately congratulate Treadwell, who said he will take “full advantage” of their relationship and Carter’s knowledge.
Despite his time in the 40-yard dash, Treadwell, like Carter, has no lack of confidence in his abilities as a receiver.
“A lot of guys are fast but can’t go left, can’t go right, can’t go by, can’t go deep, can’t make the play,” Treadwell said. “It’s part of what helps guys get drafted higher, but look at some of the greatest. They weren’t the fastest. I don’t really get caught up in it. That’s my goal, to look at the greatest. I’m looking to prolong my career and get better over time.
“… I’m looking forward to start my career and start my legacy.”