Laquon Treadwell has not worked out for Minnesota, but he could be a low-level investment Brett Veach is known for making.
The Minnesota Vikings would like to have that Laquon Treadwell pick back. For a front office that’s shown solid acumen at building a deep and talented roster, one of the biggest recent misses for the Vikes was the team’s first round investment in the former Ole Miss wide receiver.
The good news is that they saved the Kansas City Chiefs from making the same mistake.
You might remember that immediately following the 2016 NFL Draft, FOX Sports Alex Marvez tweeted this little draft nugget:
The Chiefs were reportedly wanting to move up in the first round—maybe to jump in front of teams wanting wideouts—but the Vikings decided to invest in Treadwell at the time despite question marks. The Chiefs decided to slide out of the round altogether at No. 28 and ended up getting defensive lineman Chris Jones atop the second round—one of the best overall selections in the entire draft.
Three years later, Treadwell is buried on the depth chart in Minnesota with the emergence of Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs as Pro Bowl targets in the NFC. Fortunately, the Vikings are likely dodging more bullets than they should be due to the presence of Thielen/Diggs, which keeps a lot of attention away from the first-round bust. After all, if the Vikes had a major hole at receiver, fingers would be pointing toward Treadwell and the front office that drafted him.
The early questions were there about Treadwell, especially when he ran a pedestrian 40-yard dash at his pro day. The lack of top speed and questions about separation plagued him in the run up to the draft, and his three-year tenure in Minnesota has only raised more eyebrows. Now concerns about Treadwell head into the mental aspect of the game as well—playbook knowledge, mental prep—all of which led the Vikes to decline Treadwell’s fifth year option.
At this point, Treadwell is scheduled to be a free agent after the coming season and the Vikings have little reason to believe he will blossom with the same team and coaching staff with which he’s flopped thus far.
Enter an opportunity for a general manager like Brett Veach, a GM who likes these sorts of low-level investments on former hyped targets. Cam Erving and Reggie Ragland were two such investments made in Veach’s first summer as GM for the Chiefs and linebacker Darron Lee is the latest such project after coming over in a trade with the New York Jets.
If Veach was one of the front office members of the Chiefs, it might interest him to call Minnesota and check on the price to bring him in for a closer look for the duration of training camp.
For the Chiefs part, not only would a trade for Treadwell give the player a change of scenery, it would also help the Chiefs with wide receiver depth with a (hopefully) motivated veteran who knows he has a real chance to turn things around. Treadwell also just turned 24 years old this month, so it’s not as if being at the end of his rookie deal makes him old by NFL standards.
The Chiefs are down De’Anthony Thomas and Chris Conley from last year’s team. Tyreek Hill could also be missing for multiple games due to a looming suspension that should be coming shortly from the NFL. The Chiefs have brought in Mecole Hardman and there are also promising players rising in the ranks—from Byron Pringle to Jamal Custis to Cody Thompson.
If the Chiefs’ coaching staff feels like a competition among the younger players already in house could produce some very real regular season production, then this shouldn’t even be a talking point. It’d be exciting to see the team develop these young players and trust their coaching staff to get them ready. At the same time, Veach has exhibited a penchant for these types of deals before, and the Chiefs reportedly wanted Treadwell back in ’16. It could make sense to marry the two a few years after the fact.