We’re in the depths of the offseason here at The Falcoholic, and there has been little to nothing in the way of interesting news in ages. So, we’ll have to make some content of our own in the meantime. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be bringing you a new Player Profile series where we’ll take a look at each of the players on Atlanta’s roster. I’ll break down their measurables, past production, and try to project their 2020 season with the Falcons.
After taking a look at the projected starters, we now turn our attention to the depth on the Falcons’ roster. Today, I’ll be discussing WR Laquon Treadwell—a former first-round pick of the Vikings who struggled to make an impact early in his career, but is hoping for a resurgence in Atlanta.
WR Laquon Treadwell
Contract: $750K cap hit in 2020, free agent in 2021
Career Production: 53 games played, 16 games started | 65 receptions for 701 yards (10.8 YPR) and 2 TD
2019 Production: 13 games played, 1 game started | 9 receptions for 184 yards (20.4 YPR) and 1 TD
Previous Teams: Drafted in the 1st round (#23 overall) by the Minnesota Vikings (2016-2019)
With the departure of Mohamed Sanu via trade during the 2019 season, the Falcons were in need of size in the WR corps heading into 2020. While Julio Jones obviously fits that role quite well, there were no other WRs on the roster taller than 6’1 (Calvin Ridley and Christian Blake). Now, 6’1 isn’t short by any means, but it certainly isn’t causing any mismatches with smaller CBs. To address that issue, the Falcons signed veteran WR Laquon Treadwell to a one-year minimum deal in late March.
Treadwell certainly has talent: he was a former first-round pick of the Vikings, with a standout junior season in college that saw him put up 82 receptions for 1153 yards (14.1 YPR) and 11 TD. Treadwell has good size—6’2, 221 with over 33” arms—and physicality, but showed at the NFL Combine that he wasn’t a particularly impressive athlete. Unfortunately for Treadwell, it seems his athletic limitations hurt him early in his career. He had an almost invisible rookie season with just 1 reception for 15 yards in 9 games.
Treadwell followed that year up with two mediocre performances in 2017 and 2018, where he posted just 200 and 302 yards (respectively) and pedestrian YPR averages of 10.0 and 8.6. It seemed as if Treadwell would simply be unable to convert his style of play to the NFL, before he looked legitimately impressive in limited action in 2019. He posted 184 yards on just 9 catches for an absurd 20.4 YPR, including 1 TD.
Those flashes appear to have been enough for the Falcons to give him a shot in Atlanta. The size and talent are certainly there for Treadwell, but it remains to be seen if he can contribute at a consistently high level in the NFL. Drops have been a problem for Treadwell, with 5 drops in 2018 and 2 in 2019, and he’ll need to clean up those issues if he wants to earn Matt Ryan’s trust. However, the aforementioned lack of size on Atlanta’s roster gives Treadwell a significant advantage to make the roster as the primary outside backup to Julio and Ridley.
Projection: Laquon Treadwell will get a chance to restart his disappointing career in Atlanta. Right now, Treadwell projects fairly easily as the WR4—assuming he puts forth a solid performance in training camp. He fills a need for the Falcons as a WR with plus size, and should be the primary outside backup and a potential red zone weapon.