Less than a week before their 2022 season opener against Miami, the Patriots keep their foot on the recruiting gas and add Laquon Treadwell to their practice squad.
Training camp this year introduced Patriots fans to a number of promising wide receivers. In addition to the guys on the 53-man roster, such names as Lil’Jordan Humphrey and Tre Nixon add meaningful depth and talent to the practice squad, and their newest acquisition, Laquon Treadwell, just strengthens that depth. We take a look at what the Patriots are getting in Laquon.
Who Is LaQuon Treadwell?
From the moment LaQuon Treadwell took the field in Oxford, MS, he lit the college football world on fire. He put up over 2300 receiving yards and 200 receptions as a Rebel, and entered the NFL draft off a scorching junior season where he had 82 receptions, 11 TDs and 1153 yards while helping lead the team to a sugar bowl win.
He reached his stat line by having essentially every skillset that a receiver could ask for. He had game speed and spatial awareness that transcended his actual vertical speed. He ran excellent routes and cut quickly and in a timely way. He showed an ability to get up for the ball, and had a number of impressive jumping catches. He also had very reliable hands, able to make difficult catches, including ones in traffic and single-handed catches. He had a penchant for the big moment, and did extremely well against the better secondaries he faced, including against Alabama, and had six games in 2015 where he went for over 100 yards.
His amazing performance in college compensated for a subpar combine performance where he had disappointing results in the 40-yard dash, three cone drill and the vertical jump. His actual game tape is likely the reason why, he showed the abilities on the field that the drills didn’t quite reflect, and he was still drafted in the first round by the Vikings.
As a Viking, Treadwell gradually improved but never really had a high-throughput season. His speed was clearly a bit of a limitation to his production and he was still acclimating to NFL-level coverage. However, in his most recent season in Jacksonville, he has had somewhat of a resurgence, with 33 receptions, 484 yards and a touchdown in 2021, despite a subpar season from his quarterback, Trevor Lawrence.
His abilities were starting to translate to the NFL level, and he was making difficult catches, and showing an ability to go downfield but also be active in the short passing game. The 27-year-old comes to Foxborough looking for a fresh start after being released from Jacksonville off an up-and-down preseason.
What Can The Patriots Do With LaQuon
The Patriots won’t see Treadwell against Miami in their season opener. It’s hard to say exactly how much playing time, if any, that the practice squad signing will see. However, the group of Patriots receivers in the practice squad gets even stronger, and with some doubt in the group of starters, both in terms of level and ability to stay healthy, that depth could be very useful.
LaQuon, however, provides a unique skillset that the Patriots don’t quite have in their 53-man roster. His combination of sure hands and an ability to catch while jumping and in traffic allows him to get to a good number of 50:50 balls. He’s trending upwards after last season and his college numbers and his tape from last season shows that he has a high ceiling that he hasn’t come close to hitting. So, for the Patriots, overall, this is a low-risk, high-upside pick, and it will be intriguing to see what the Patriots do with him.
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