Taking a Look: Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss

Laquon Treadwell is a third year wide receiver for the Ole Miss Rebels. The Rebels will surely “miss” Treadwell when he enters the Draft. He hasn’t officially declared for the 2016 NFL Draft yet, but he is strongly considering entering as an underclassmen. From the players I have scouted so far, at the receiver position, Treadwell is the best. He seems to have it all with no weaknesses. He is a 6’2”, 210 lb, big bodied receiver, who is deceptive with his speed. He can do so much and is a freakish athlete. It is incredible to see Treadwell where he is today after suffering a horrific leg and ankle injury against Auburn in 2014. He has bounced back and hasn’t missed a beat, so let’s take a look at first, his statistics from this season:

  • Played in all twelve games this season, and is slated to play in the Sugar Bowl vs Oklahoma State on New Year’s Day
  • 1,082 receiving yards with 76 total receptions this season
  • 8 receiving touchdowns and even 1 passing touchdown
  • 14.2 yards average per catch

Now let’s take a more in depth look at Treadwell:
Games Scouted:
vs Vanderbilt (2015), vs Florida (2015), vs Auburn (2015), and vs Alabama (2014)
When you watch film on Laquon Treadwell, one of the first things that will jump out to you is the way he can create separation against defenders. It doesn’t matter whether the corner lined up against him is in press coverage or zone, Treadwell will find a way to get open. The first thing that jumps out at me is how he dips his shoulder when he takes off on his route. Many times, I have seen him dip his shoulders on a corner, and gain at least two to three yards of separation. He does an excellent job of selling a pass play when the offense is actually running the ball. He will take off like he is running a post route, the corner bites, and he effectively takes one defender out of the play. He is also excellent at getting open and finding holes in zone coverage for his QB to float the ball into.
So he can get open, big deal. Can he catch the ball? In the games I watched him play in, I saw him drop the ball twice. Most of the time, Treadwell is a very reliable receiver who catches the ball with his hands. He seems to also have very strong wrists as he will win a contested ball the majority of the time. He does a great job of adjusting to the ball and has made some very acrobatic catches in his college career. The QB play was not the best this season, and so the ball placement wasn’t the best either. Treadwell didn’t miss a beat as he was able to adjust in the air and make the grab.
So, now that he has the ball in his hands, can he do anything with it? Absolutely. Treadwell does an excellent job of running with the ball after the catch. He is a very physical receiver who doesn’t mind lowering his shoulder for a few extra yards. He can be a slippery receiver who can make you miss in the open field. His physicality comes into play in the run blocking game. I have never seen such a physical blocking receiver. He does an excellent job of driving his legs, staying aggressive, and knocking a defender out of the play. Treadwell knocks one defender out of the play and moves on to the next defender in line.
There wasn’t much I didn’t like about Treadwell’s game, but there were two things that were worth noting. When he run blocks, or faces off against corners on his routes, he can get too careless and become too aggressive. Many times, I have seen flags thrown against him for unnecessary roughness or grabbing too much jersey. Second, I worry about whether his route tree is developed enough. For the first two years at Ole Miss, his primary routes were screen plays and post plays. This year, I saw his route tree develop some as he ran slants, hook routes, and a few in and out routes. He is no Amari Cooper when it comes to route running. From what I could tell, he is a an adequate route runner who seems to be a little tight in the hips, but I feel that is something he can work on and fix once he gets to the pros.
I love Treadwell’s potential. I strongly feel he will be a high first round pick. He has made an incredible bounce back from his horrendous injury last season and has put up some great stats and play on film this year. There are a lot of teams this season who are going to be looking for a future number one receiver, and I feel Treadwell can be that guy. He is an all-around receiver with the size, speed, catching ability, and the ability to make something happen after he gets the ball in his hands. I cannot wait to see what he will do in the pros.
Austin Morris is the creator of The Scouting Lab. He is a graduate of National Football Post’s Introduction to Scouting and Scouting Boot Camp. He can be reached atamorris3585@scc.stanly.edu

An Early Look: Kenneth Dixon, LA Tech

Coming out of Louisiana Tech is a senior running back by the name of Kenneth Dixon. Dixon is a talented running back, but he has a lot of wear and tear. He plays in a pass-first offense. Still, amazingly, he has quite the stat line over the past few years. Here are his careers stats so far. (as of 10/3/15)
• 699 carries with an average of 5.7 yards per carry
• 3,993 rushing yards and 59 touchdowns
• 69 receptions with 653 receiving yards
• 10 receiving touchdowns
Games scouted: Illinois (2014), Oklahoma (2014), and Western Kentucky (2014)
First, I would like to look at some concerns I have with Kenneth Dixon. Dixon does have a lot mileage on his tires, which is something that could hurt his draft stock. Soon, he will be breaking the barrier of 700 career carries and over 4,000 rushing yards. When you stop and think, that is over 700 hits he has taken in the stretch of only 4 years. I feel it is highly doubtful a team would spend a high draft pick on him because of that alone. Likely, he will not be averaging about 200 carries per year in the NFL, which is something that does stand in his favor.
Second, Dixon has a tendency to run upright, which causes him to take some rather big hits. I can recall several instances of him running down the sideline and getting hit very hard. His running upright not only leads to big hits, but it also decreases his ability to push piles. I feel his inside running is not as effective because he stands a little too tall when he hits a pile. Instead of being able to push a pile forward, he either gets driven back or has no gain.
But the good outweighs the bad. First, you have to look at the production. It is clear that, in his college career, Dixon has put up some great numbers. Has he faced the best of the best defenses on a consistent basis? No, but when has that played a factor in how great backs are in the NFL? It didn’t matter in the case of Doug Martin, Lesean McCoy, or Matt Forte, who all played for schools that played less than stellar teams on a consistent basis. If Dixon has the skill level mixed with the desire to win, the level of competition will not matter.
Dixon has great athletic ability to play the running back position. He will not be a power back, but will be used likely as a scat back. He is a very slippery runner who lives and breathes on runs off the tackle. He is extremely dangerous when he is allowed to cut the corner. Often, it will be a first down run or longer when he is allowed to do so. He can make quick cuts in the open field to make defenders miss and he can also make some crazy moves showcasing his agility and elusiveness.
I like how he is active in the passing game. He has shown on film that he can make catches and get yards after the catch without dropping passes or making errors. I even saw him line up in the slot some in the Louisiana Tech offense. This could add some draft stock to him as a lot of running backs are rarely involved in the passing game and are not three down backs. As of now, as we are reaching the start of conference play in the NCAA, I have Dixon listed as a third to fourth round pick in next year’s draft.
Austin Morris is the creator of The Scouting Lab. He is a graduate of National Football Post’s Introduction to Scouting and Scouting Boot Camp. He can be reached atamorris3585@scc.stanly.edu