When Laquon Treadwell signed with Ole Miss in 2013, he did it with one goal in mind: the NFL.
Fast forward three years, and Treadwell accomplished his dream in his hometown, as the Minnesota Vikings selected the Crete, Illinois, native with the No. 23 overall pick in Thursday’s first round of the NFL draft in Chicago.
“It was an amazing experience that neither me or my family or my friends will ever forget. We share that to the grave. It was just amazing,” Treadwell told reporters in Minnesota Friday. “I never thought that starting playing football at 10 years old that 10 years down the road I would be back in Chicago getting drafted to the Minnesota Vikings. I’m honored. I’m blessed. I’m grateful. I’m glad to be here and looking forward to getting my career started on the next level.”
Treadwell isn’t the only one excited that he’s in Minnesota. Check out how the Vikings’ faithful reacted when the 6-foot-2, 221-pounder’s name was called Thursday night.
Treadwell got a chance to meet some Vikings fans at a Buffalo Wild Wings party when he got in town Friday.
“It’s been great. It’s everything and more. The fans are very passionate. I can tell by the Buffalo Wild Wings visit and signing things on the way to the bus. They’re very passionate, and they love their team.”
The fans, however, aren’t nearly as excited as Minnesota coach Mike Zimmer and the rest of the Vikings organization.
“We’re all really excited to have the opportunity to get Laquon here,” Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said Friday. “He really fits what we’re trying to do here as a football team. He’s tough, physical. He’s smart. He’s a great competitor. He’s the kind of guy we want to have in the locker room. He comes out and he works real hard.”
Treadwell said he’s already looked at some film of the Vikings’ offense and talked with quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. He acknowledged he has a lot to learn and feels he can continue to develop in every aspect of his game.
“I think it just comes with time,” Treadwell said. “Learning the offense and picking up on the offense.Spoke with the coaches. They’ve shown me some plays and shown me what their schemes are. It just comes with time and preparing and getting ready for camp and the season. Over time, I’ll do better and get better.”
One of the biggest knocks on Treadwell — and potentially the reason three wide receivers were drafted ahead of him — is his speed.
The former Ole Miss star ran a 4.63 40-yard dash at the Rebels’ pro day in March, and scouts wondered if he had the speed to get separation in the NFL. However, Treadwell thinks he has was it takes.
“It’s game instincts,” Treadwell said. “It’s knowing what to do and when to do it. I think I do that really well.”
Now, he has a chance to prove the doubters wrong as he begins his journey in the NFL.