Scouting report by Dave-Te’ Thomas, NFL Draft Report
Body Structure: Laquon Treadwell has a muscular frame with minimal body fat, long limbs, large hands, good bubble and thick thighs and calves. He has very good size for his position with a tight waist and hips. Even at 217 pounds, he has room on his frame for additional growth with no loss for quickness. While he possesses good speed, his power is what he gains most of his success after the catch from.
Athletic Ability: Treadwell is a fine athlete with good balance, speed, agility and flexibility. He is more powerful than sudden coming off the snap, but has very good quickness and footwork getting into his routes. He gets to top speed in a hurry, showing the acceleration and burst to escape and gain valid yardage after the catch. He is a bit of a strider, but can cover ground, showing good balance and body control in and out of his breaks. He has the ability to adjust and get under the ball in flight, along with the change-of-direction agility to cut on the move and avoid defenders. He does show good route-running ability and the vision to sense when trouble arises in the backfield, doing a nice job of working back to the quarterback. He can easily handle pressure situations, where he thrives with the ball in his hands (see 2015 Vanderbilt, New Mexico State, Auburn, Arkansas and Oklahoma State contests).
Running 4.63 seconds in the 40-yard dash, Treadwell knows he is not going to win too many long-distance foot races, but he's a savvy route runner who is very physical breaking tackles in attempts to separate.
Release: Treadwell loves it when he is going to be the first option on the play. He will get out of his stance quickly and power through the jam. Even when he is not going to be the primary target, he is a stalker, looking for second-level targets to hit in order to clear a path for a teammate. He is not explosive, but has the advantage of creating mismatches vs. smaller corners by using his size and hip wiggle to gain separation. When at his best, he knows he does not have the suddenness to easily escape his coverage, but he will use his frame and fakes to take the cornerback out of the backpedal too early. He is just too strong to contain at the line of scrimmage, thanks to the jolt he can deliver with his hand placement, and even the more physical defenders struggle when trying to execute the jam vs. him. He has more than enough strength to get through the chuck, along with efficient swim moves. He has enough foot quickness and change of direction agility to avoid on the move and get into his routes.
Acceleration: Treadwell builds to top speed nicely, but is not going to win many foot races vs. cornerbacks in the open field. When he keeps his pads down, he has the short-area quickness and loose hips to turn and head upfield without having to throttle down after the catch. He has the ability to break a big play when he powers through arm tackles after catching the ball in the short area (see 2015 New Mexico State, Texas A&M and Oklahoma State games). He has the long frame to be a physical presence working for the ball inside and possesses the hands and leaping ability to compete for the ball in a crowd. The thing you see on film is his ability to uncover in time for the quarterback to deliver the ball, as he does a nice job of adjusting in his routes and finding the seam. He has the second gear to run away from second level defenders and uses his long stride to eat up the cushion quickly. He does a good job of conning the defender with his quick plant-and-drive ability to get separation from his cuts. Even though he’s a long strider, he builds his acceleration nicely to cover ground. He might not be sudden in his movements, but he can get open and power through to pick up valid yardage after the catch.
What separates Treadwell from most receivers in this draft class is his ability to move the chains and get behind the defensive back to make the big catch – 50 of his 82 receptions resulted in first downs last year, as 16 of those grabs went long distances.
Route Running: Treadwell is an aggressive route runner, using his size and strength to power through arm tackles. He does a nice job of sinking his pads and changing direction working underneath and has that deceptive second gear to head north after catching the ball in the seam. He has loose hips to spin away from contact after the catch, but not enough to execute a pirouette and leave defenders grabbing at air. He is especially effective with his plant-and-drive on crossing and out routes. He has a good array of head fakes to sell the route and keeps his hands active to get to the ball on comebacks (see 2015 Memphis, LSU and Oklahoma State games). He has the eyes to see when the quarterback is in trouble, showing urgency coming back to help there. He is most effective when going for the ball on step back throws. He runs at a proper pad level and it is very rare to see him round routes coming out of his breaks, as he has the footwork and balance to recover when trying to get in and out of his cuts.
Separation Ability: Treadwell is a physical type who knows how to take advantage of his size to shield defenders away from the ball. He knows how to use his arm length to keep the cornerbacks off his body and can deliver a strong stiff-arm to knock the opponent back on his heels. He is more elusive than sudden after the catch, as he does not have the speed to escape in a flat-out foot race. When making contact, he does a good job of lowering his shoulders and powering through. The thing that is nice to watch (scary for a position coach, though) is that he seems to enjoy contact, especially when having to go over the middle, as he would rather run through tackles than try to escape after he gets to the ball in flight. He has the large hands that act like vacuums to look the ball in, but last year, some of those pass deflections were the result of him not always attacking the ball at its high point. It could be that he was protecting his previously injured leg and ankle, but 16 PBUs against him is a bit much for a receiver of his size. He appears to do a better job of adjusting to balls in the short area. On deep throws, he catches the ball well in stride, as he works hard to get into position and get his head turned around better to secure throws over his outside shoulder.
Treadwell's average leaping ability aside, his long arms (33 3/8-inches) and timing allow him to get to the ball.
Leaping Ability: Treadwell has good leaping ability, but when he was challenged by a defender going after the jump ball last year, 16 of those attempts were battled away by the opponent and the Ole Miss split end dropped another toss. It just seemed that at times he would much rather catch the ball in stride rather than go up and compete for the ball in flight. I still think it was more due to recovering from his 2014 injuries, as before he was hurt, he demonstrated the athletic ability to make a big impact going for the pass at its high point.
Hands: Treadwell has exceptional hands, along with a large radius that allows him to go outside his framework to reach for the ball in stride. He has the ability to adjust and scoop up the low throws with ease. He has the hand strength to win battles with arm tackles or to defeat jam, showing nice “fire in his belly” to compete for extra yards after the catch. He is not the type that you will see double-catching or letting the ball absorb into his body, as he has great confidence in his large mitts to look the ball in.
While known for his tackle-breaking strength, Treadwell did disappoint in the bench press (12 reps) at the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine
Run After the Catch: Treadwell is a long strider who will never be confused for being sudden or shifty, but he has the vision, body control and change-of-direction agility to escape second-level defenders. When in the deep secondary, he knows that he has more than enough upper body strength to pick up more yards by blasting through arm tackles. It is that power and athletic leg drive that allows him to gain the bulk of the yards after securing the ball. He gets good depth through his routes and quickly recognizes the coverage working in the zone. He has the hip-sink agility that allows him to get good quickness coming out of his breaks. His size poses matchup problems for the smaller defensive backs and he has the ability to stop and start immediately in attempts to elude. He is best when he is on the move, as he shows strength to break tackles.
Blocking Ability: Treadwell is a highly effective crack blocker with a strong concept for taking good angles when stalking second-level defenders. He uses his size well to seal the edge and is very good at using his hands to sustain when having to block along the line. He is quick to recover and counter when an edge rusher tries to execute a spin move and when blocking in the backfield, and he does a very good job of locating and stopping the blitz, along with demonstrating the retreat speed to protect the pocket from being compromised.