Vikings say Treadwell’s game speed trumps his Combine speed

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At the Scouting Combine, receiver Laquon Treadwell turned in a disappointing 40-yard dash, leading to some speculation that he could drop out of the first round. But that didn’t happen, as the Vikings selected him with the 23rd overall pick.

So why did the Vikings ignore Treadwell’s 40 time? G.M. Rick Spielman said on today’s PFT Live that watching Treadwell on tape reveals that he plays faster in a game than he runs in shorts.

“We watched all of his ’14 tape, and you look at his game speed,” Spielman said. “He had a very devastating injury at the end of the ’14 season against Auburn, and then you start to see him get his stride again the second half of the [2015] season. There’s been a lot of receivers that may not have run fast on the clock, but they play with good game speed, and we felt that Laquon definitely shows enough game speed to make an impact in this league.”

Spielman said the Vikings don’t think their passing game was quite where they wanted it to be last year, but they believe Treadwell can make difficult catches, win contested balls in the red zone and help quarterback Teddy Bridgewater grow.

“Don’t discount Laquon because some of those bigger guys . . . because of their catching radius, their ability to go up and their timing on the ball, they can be effective receivers downfield,” Spielman said.

That matters a lot more than a 40 time.

87 responses to “Vikings say Treadwell’s game speed trumps his Combine speed

  1. I’d rather have the top-rated wide receiver in the draft drop to me because of a bad 40 time than reach for a guy no one ever heard of until he posted a great 40 time.

  2. That’s quite a concession by Spielman, I was convinced he was happy with his team’s 31st-ranked passing attack last year. Look out, #30 Kansas City, here comes Teddy & Co.!!!

  3. The best part of the draft is the jargon. This year’s winners: Lateral burst, violent hands, and hip explosion. Sometimes you don’t know if you’re reading draft profiles or Craig’s list.

  4. This is why I’m glad my Bears drafted a CB with 34 1/2 inch arms. Teddy can’t throw deep anyway so a WR’s straight-line speed is moot in their system (see Wallace, Mike). Treadwell is exactly the guy the Vikings needed.

  5. In the performance prediction business, we have “signs” of behavior and we have “samples” of behavior. A sign is something that has been shown to be related to performance. A sample is an actual demonstration that you can do the job. Not surprisingly, samples predict better than signs. For wide receivers, game tape is a sample and 40 time is a sign. I’m glad the Vikings are using sound scientific principles and common sense as they build their team.

  6. I think we can all agree that giving Teddy a 4.2 guy wouldn’t really make sense. I have plenty of faith in Teddy but we’re not going to see him throwing 60 yd bombs to a speedy receiver. That is just not part of his game. Wallace is a burner and was non-existent in the Offense. Treadwell fits what Teddy is capable of

  7. Jerry Rice ran a 4.7 40 but wasn’t run down from behind all that often in a game. He joked about his 4o time vs game speed, there’s nobody chasing you down on the track.

  8. As a Viking fan, I’m less concerned with how fast Treadwell is and more concerned with whether or not Teddy can find him. Clocking a blazing 40-yard dash time is of little value when your QB is running for his life or checking down on every play.

    I hope Teddy Two Gloves is spending his entire off-season in the film room!

  9. Of course the Vikings have to say that. They just used their 1st round pick on him….What do you think they will say?

  10. Very happy Treadwell was still there at 23 for the Vikings to select. It’s going to be another great season for the Vikes as they defend their NFC North title.

  11. Teddy can’t use “burner” receivers to their ability anyways. He lacks arm strength. Plain and simple.

    He needs someone who can battle for jump balls and has a huge catch radius.

    I’m a huge Vikes fan, and realize Teddy’s arm isn’t the best. So why would speed matter like everyone says it does.

    Great pick, IMO.

  12. Combine speed is overrated if a player can’t catch or run routes ( see Troy Williamson and/or Cordarrelle Patterson). Jerry Rice, the greatest receiver of all time, ran a 4.71.

  13. 800 to 100 yards, 6 to 10 TD’s. If he hits or exceeds those benchmarks he is better than anybody on the team and certainly better than the super expensive Mike Wallace. I think Treadwell will be “very good”. Not necessarily great, but very good as a floor–if he can grow from there and become great, then awesome news for the Vikes!!

  14. Sure I think 40 times are fun but I think GM’s and analysts get too carried away at the combine.

    Keenan Allen and Jarvis Landry are good examples that game speed and football talent are far more useful evaluations.

  15. The question is what was his 40 time before his injury. Then compare that to the latest one.

  16. Game intelligence, blocking, route running, and ability to make contested catches are just some of the things that will more than counteract slow straight-line speed. Being really fast never hurts, but the NFL is full of not-really-fast receivers who do extremely well.

    This is coming from a Packers fan. We could have used more speed last year, but we could have also used fewer drops.

  17. Many players do play faster even like Hester, but that injury is the kind that can make a player never be the same again. While he still has theb chance to be a great possession WR like a Boldin or Marshall. I don’t forsee him running at 4.4 speed.

  18. Good pickup for them. Actually they had a good draft, much better than my Lions.

  19. So tired of the paralysis by over-analysis.
    Jordy Nelson runs a 4.51…Treadwell runs a 4.64…is there really that big a difference? Can a guy play football or not? One question..end of analysis!

  20. Another stellar draft. I don’t think I’ll live long enough to see the Packers win the NFCN again. I’m in my mid-20s fyi.

  21. Larry Fitzgerald ran a 4.63 40 in the 2004 combine. I think he turned out o.k. for a receiver that didn’t scorch the clock.

  22. This was a steal for the Vikings at 23. Treadwell was the best WR in the Draft. As Im sure Vikings fans will agree, im less concerned about Treadwell than I am that scrub Bridgewater getting him the ball.

    You are golden Vikings fans, heres the WRs I wanted the Browns to draft and of course they didnt, Julio, Beckham, Watkins, Kelvin Benjamin and Jarvis Landry. I know my WRs and Treadwell is a Beast. And Yes Im smarter than the idiots drafting for the Browns

  23. Zimmer said this off season that “There are no excuses,” yet here we are attempting to excuse a slow combine speed.

    The “excuses” have already begun.

  24. “jag1959 says:
    May 2, 2016 11:42 AM

    Jerry Rice ran a 4.7 40 but wasn’t run down from behind all that often in a game. He joked about his 4o time vs game speed, there’s nobody chasing you down on the track.”
    ==========================================

    It certainly would make track and field more interesting to watch though.

  25. Forget his time in the 40, did you notice that when there was a run on WR’s in the draft, the other GM’s went elsewhere and that left Treadslow in the Green Room. Spielman can attempt to sell us on his drafting rationale all he wants, the more telling detail is who the other GM’s picked first.

    Speed is overrated anyway when you consider Teddy’s arm. Look at Wallace, an absolute burner at WR, how many TD bombs did he catch last year? (I’ll give you a clue, its the same number of Superbowls the Vikings have won)

  26. All of those Combine Heroes really helped the Raiders in the 2000’s! The 40 yard dash does not predict the heart and the fight in a player. The difference between a 4.4 time and a 4.6 time is hardly even that noticeable.

  27. whatjusthapped says:
    May 2, 2016 1:01 PM

    Forget his time in the 40, did you notice that when there was a run on WR’s in the draft, the other GM’s went elsewhere and that left Treadslow in the Green Room. Spielman can attempt to sell us on his drafting rationale all he wants, the more telling detail is who the other GM’s picked first.
    ______

    Packer fans have no choice but to judge the talent of a player based on other GMs’ opinions because their GM has no track record of consistently drafting good players. Viking fans don’t need to do that.

  28. Not worried about his speed whatsoever. Anquan Boldin ran a 4.71 40 time. He also caught 10 catches for 210 yards his first game. Very few routes do you run full speed. Can you setup the defender, can you get separation, and can you catch the ball.

    Vikings fans know all too well that speed alone is worthless. The routes Treadwell runs the best, match what the Norv want’s his receivers to run.

    Perfect fit, nice pick. Now its up to Treadwell whether he is good, great or a bust.

  29. Name one speedster receiver that has panned out? Buehler? Why anyone thinks running for 40 yards in a straight line wearing a track suit has anything to do with football is beyond me….not to mention we’re talking about 3 tenths of a second here. Or I guess you could be like the Browns and take a totally risky receiver because he’s fast, when your team has no offensive line, defensive line, or QB and then follow that up with 4 more receivers. LOL!

  30. When you start getting into tenths and hundredths of seconds in forty times, you’re now talking about technique coming out of the blocks and using a runner’s stance. I’m pretty sure that it is rare in an NFL game for the equipment manager to set up starting blocks for the wide receivers.

    Being able to go up and get the ball is every bit as important as being able to get down the field quickly. A possession receiver that is difficult to cover and reliable on third downs is invaluable. Keeping the chains moving and smashing Peterson into the line over and over is the strategy to succeed in Minnesota, not blazing fast wideouts in a high flying attack.

  31. We have already tried the other way, Wallace might be fast but he was lazy and anytime he was thrown to in a zone rout he dropped half the balls when they hit him in the hands.

  32. The guy could barely get separation in the SEC, just wait until he competes against bigger and faster cornerbacks.

    Roy Williams 2.0.

  33. I am a diehard Vikings fan.

    Based on what I’ve seen from Bridgewater, the bad passing game has nothing to do with the receivers.

    Teddy just looks weird throwing passes. He looks nothing like Brady, Rodgers or even Culpepper.

  34. I can’t stand the gap between the Super Bowl and the Draft, and I can’t get into all the combine, Kiperisms, Path to the Draft crap. That said, and admitting my analysis is nonexistent, I was thrilled Minnesota got Treadwell because the top-end SEC WR’s have turned out to be really good the last few years: Beckham, Landry, Alshon, AJ, Julio, Jeffrey, Cooper had a good rookie year … Treadwell?

  35. I only saw 4-5 Ole Miss games the last couple of years, but in every one of those games Treadwell made at least one amazing catch.

    Add in that in his interviews, he seems like a quiet and humble guy who will be easy for the fans to like.

    Decent pick up by the Vikes in the mid 20’s.

  36. Here’s the deal — Bridgewater is what he is — an average to above average NFL QB with questionable arm strength. The Vikes can win with that, as it’s not like strong armed QBs like Cutler and Stafford are lighting the world on fire. Treadwell fits his strngths, as would have Irvin, Boldin, Rice, Carter, Bryant and a whole host of other WRs that ran 4.6 40 times.

    And that Treadwater comment was pretty good.

  37. The WR’s aren’t the problem. The QB is the problem. Vikings fans will find that out this upcoming season if they haven’t already.

    Treadwell should be a good receiver in the NFL. But he won’t realize his full potential until he is catching passes from someone other than Bridgewater. It’s really that simple.

    Teddy has had his chances, and a 30th ranked passing game last season says it all. There has been no upward progression by him. Eerily enough, I heard the same “give him more time” comments by Vikings fans about Tarvaris Jackson and Christian Ponder, too.

    Yes, their defense can definitely win them some games as it did last year, but their QB has to get better to get to the next level. Of course Trent Dilfer and Brad Johnson won Super Bowls, but those defenses were generational. Not sure the Vikings defense is at that level, yet at least.

  38. This article indicated that Treadwell ran his 40 at the combine. He actually ran it at his pro day. Braxton Miller ran 4.33 at his pro day but 4.50 at the combine. That’s .17 difference. You have to add at least a .10 second for a hand held pro day time vs the electronic times at the combine. Treadwell may turn out to be great, but just because he ran 4.63 hand held doesn’t mean that number compares to anyone who ran at the combine. He could be anywhere from 4.73 to 4.80 comparable NFL combine time. Which doesn’t mean he may not turn out to be the next Jerry Rice or Anquan Boldin.

  39. Everyone loves to mention that we were 31st in passing last season but fail to mention or at least recognize we were 32nd in pass attempts with 454. Next closest was Buffalo with 465. League Median is 590 which is quite a bit more and thats just the 16th ranked team. 15 teams through the ball more than 600 times.

    We run the ball with AP but realize that we need to take more chances on early downs, thats why Treadwell was brought in to make those catches for Teddy and his high completion percentage.

  40. People wanting to throw Teddy under the bus for last year’s passing woes weren’t watching the same games I was. He was running for his life most days, as they had a completely impotent offensive line. When that improves, and hopefully it has, we’ll get a chance to see how good Teddy really is.

  41. In 3 years, let’s compare what Treadwell has done as opposed to Fuller. I have a feeling Fuller won’t be near as productive. If that turns out to be the case, I’m sure you naysayers will come up with another excuse.

  42. jp04174 says:
    May 2, 2016 11:44 AM
    Combine speed is overrated if a player can’t catch or run routes ( see Troy Williamson and/or Cordarrelle Patterson). Jerry Rice, the greatest receiver of all time, ran a 4.71.
    ______________________

    He also played with one of the greatest QBs of all time, and then another Hall Of Famer.

    Better QBs make better WRs. You guys are familiar with Randy Moss, Sydney Rice, and Greg Jennings, look what they did with QBs like Brady, Favre or Rodgers, vs other QBs they played with in their careers.

  43. I’m not sure why the Vikings drafted a WR considering they already have the best WR group in the NFL according to one prominent guy on this site…

    That being said, I actually like the pick for the Vikes. They didn’t need a speedster because Theodore can’t throw more than 35 yards in the air.

  44. bhinrichs9 says:
    May 2, 2016 2:33 PM
    Everyone loves to mention that we were 31st in passing last season but fail to mention or at least recognize we were 32nd in pass attempts with 454. Next closest was Buffalo with 465. League Median is 590 which is quite a bit more and thats just the 16th ranked team. 15 teams through the ball more than 600 times.

    We run the ball with AP but realize that we need to take more chances on early downs, thats why Treadwell was brought in to make those catches for Teddy and his high completion percentage.

    ————————————————————-

    All that really means is being last in passing is more of an embarrassment.

    You run the ball – everyone knows it. So they’re stacking the box – lots of 1:1 on WR’s – and you couldn’t get above 31. When AP hits his decline and the safety stops looking in the backfield the first 3 seconds of the play and starts covering – it’s not going to help your passing numbers.

  45. Problem with the combine is these players can look amazing in there shorts and shirts.
    Why not full pads and helmets? Maybe then we can see how they move in the equipment they are required to play in. We will then see more real 40 times with extra weight on.

  46. He may actually be a little too fast for that offense. He’s been told to start concentrating on his comeback routes.

  47. Speed is the worst trait a Vikings WR could possess….Once they’re past 30 yards from the line of scrimmage, Ole knubs bridgewater can only throw 50/50 floaters… Shouldve drafted Josh Doctson instead!!!

    #changethevikingsracistcaricaturemascot

  48. The whole 40 time thing is so bloody overrated. Amazing it still holds a lot of weighting to many for the draft.

  49. I still remember how cute it was watching Fabio trying to play tackle football on Fitzgerald’s catch and run. He was flailing and stuff, but you could tell the guy really wanted to get him.

  50. stellarperformance says:
    May 2, 2016 11:51 AM

    What else can they say?

    bridgeh2o says:

    Well, they could say we will win the NFCN AGAIN in 2016,and that the packers will go winless AGAIN in divisional home games this year!

  51. More like Teddy can’t throw deep so 40 speed doesn’t matter much to the Vikings.

  52. toolkien says: May 2, 2016 12:24 PM

    Bridgewater + Treadwell = Treadwater.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++=
    That is actually the first creative comment from a Packer fan in a month… You had better copy Write it because all your fellow Lemmings will be using it…
    It was actually fairly clever… thumbs up…..
    OOPS spoke too late, ol’ Dirt Clod McNasty is already stealing your riff toolkien….I’d be ticked at him.lol

  53. I think every Vikings fan will say Teddy probably won’t be an elite Quarterback, but he already is a winner. We will see him step up again this year. Quite a few teams would love our 11 wins and the Division Crown! I can actually sense nervousness in the Packer Fans, They were so focused on the Vikings last year they forgot about the rest of their schedule.
    You know There aren’t quite as many Packer fans posting this year. Those left ARE using multiple user names for obvious reasons.
    When we sweep the Packers this year and they miss the Playoffs there will be less yet. These Dumb as a Dirt Clods don’t learn very fast but they do learn.
    We have the best Coach in the Division and Zimmer and Speilman are making solid progress each year, what a great time to be a Vikings fan!

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