NFL Draft 2016Question Of The Week

Take Your Pick: Laquon Treadwell or Josh Doctson?

It’s April 28, the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft begins, and prospects start flying off of the board. Three quarterbacks are taken in the first 15 picks, a handful of offensive linemen are gone, and suddenly, the Minnesota Vikings are on the clock. Surprisingly, the top two wide receivers — Ole Miss’s Laquon Treadwell and TCU’s Josh Doctson — are still available.

Who’s the better wide receiver, and more importantly, who’s the better wide receiver for the Vikings? It’s a position of need in Minnesota, and many, many mock drafts have the Vikings selecting one of the two prospects. In an alternate universe where both are available and the Vikings do want to draft either of the two, Rick Spielman will have to make a very difficult decision. Fortunately, the Vikings Territory team is here to pull the trigger.

Would you rather have Doctson or Treadwell in the first round and why?

Adam W.: Laquon Treadwell

I still can’t believe that the Vikings are in the conversation to possibly land Treadwell. My, how a few months can change things. In a way that is reminiscent of Teddy Bridgewater and Trae Waynes in recent years, the negativity is following Treadwell right into Draft Weekend. Count me among those that hope this is a good thing for the Vikings and they can somehow have the clear-cut best prospect at a position of need fall into their laps.

Brent: Josh Doctson

This one is easy for me, and the logic is fairly simple. I just think Doctson is a better red zone threat who will high point the football when needed. The Vikings haven’t really had a wide receiver who could do that well since Sidney Rice. Treadwell has his strengths, but I think he’s better after the catch than anything else.

Ultimately, the Vikings have two receivers who can make plays after the catch in Diggs and Wright, and at this point, I think the greatest support we can offer quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is someone who will take the top off the defense and open up the intermediary for Diggs and crew. Doctson isn’t a complete wide out just yet and there are plenty who are concerned about his age, but I think he’s the best fit for the Vikings to make an impact on day one and help this football team.

Carl: Laquon Treadwell

I like the outstanding work ethic and leadership intangibles that Treadwell offers over the faster and more athletic Josh Doctson. Both receivers are highly talented playmakers who have exceptional ball skills and great body control to haul in tough catches. Treadwell’s aggressive arms and consistent effort against press coverage sets him apart from Doctson.

His ability to move the chains as a big bodied underneath possession target with good burst and elusiveness after the catch is the missing skill set Teddy Bridgewater is lacking from the wideout position. Treadwell’s relentless toughness that helped him return from a broken fibula and a dislocated ankle in 2014 screams great fit in Mike Zimmer’s culture of high-character players.

Sam: Laquon Treadwell

I’ve heard it a thousand times over the last month: the Vikings need a long, athletic wide receiver with a big catch radius. Fans read these things and regurgitate them ad nauseam, and soon they become conventional wisdom, on par with “Cordarrelle Patterson needs to improve his route running.”

Personally, I think the Vikings need a GOOD receiver much more than one with predefined physical traits, and while both Doctson and Treadwell may end up with good careers, I believe Treadwell is the better prospect. The reason for this is simply game film; I think Treadwell’s career body of work is better than Doctson’s, even before you consider that 2015 was basically an injury recovery year for the Ole Miss product.

Treadwell was unilaterally considered the top receiver in the draft before the combine, when he ran a “disappointing” 4.65 while Doctson excelled. Here, we’re seeing non-football workouts being greatly overvalued, as they are most years. You can have the cone drill and 40 time, I’ll take the game tape. You can have the production against the swiss-cheese Big 12 defenses, I’ll take the production against the SEC. Did you know Jerry Rice never ran a 40-yard dash faster than 4.6 seconds? For some reason, no one seems to mind much at this point.

Brett: Laquon Treadwell

In the case of Treadwell v. Doctson, I don’t think the Vikings could go wrong either way. Both players fill an obvious positional need and are exceptional prospects that could help bolster the Vikings’ offense. However, if you held a gun to my head today and forced me to pick, I’d have to go with Laquon Treadwell. Once the consensus number one receiver in this year’s class, Treadwell has been losing ground since questions surrounding his speed began to surface.

Treadwell is not a burner and will not beat defensive backs with a blazing forty time. He will however overpower defenders at the catch point. He will find the open spots in a defense because he understands them schematically. He will beat corners at the line of scrimmage by using a grab bag of quick, deliberate moves. He runs great routes, has exceptional hands and is the best blocking receiver in this draft. I think once you step back and stop focusing on what Treadwell can’t do any pay closer attention to what he can, he becomes the obvious choice if still available when the Vikings are on the clock.

Adam P.: Josh Doctson

Thinking of how each receiver would fit into the Vikings offense is what ultimately led to deciding on Doctson. While either player would more than likely improve Minnesota’s passing attack, Doctson is the player that could have more of an immediate impact. As the quicker of the two receivers, Doctson is able to do more after the catch, and that could fit in well with a quarterback that likes to throw short passes as Teddy Bridgewater does. Plus, everyone knows that Doctson already looks good in purple so there is no need to mess that up.

Matt Falk, Draft Season: Laquon Treadwell

I see Doctson topping out as a solid #2 receiver in the NFL, which isn’t a bad thing, but the Vikings aren’t exactly looking for a #2 receiver. We all know Minnesota has goal of walking away from the 2016 NFL Draft with a shiny new #1 receiver, something I think the Ole Miss receiver can become early in his career.

Everyone knocks him for his “slow” 40 times, but his tape speaks for itself. He has the ability to make plays and the smarts that will only continue to help grow his game. When it comes to size, they both have the height, but Treadwell has about 15 pounds on Doctson, giving him the advantage to get off the line and make some of those tougher catches in traffic. So while Doctson would be a nice consolation prize if Treadwell is off the board at #23, if given the chance, I take Treadwell 10 times out of 10.

Nik Edlund, Draft Season: Laquon Treadwell

First of all, let me be clear, I’d be very happy with either one of these guys. Both could have a huge impact on the Vikings’ passing game in 2016 and help Teddy Bridgewater take the next step in his development.  If I had to choose between the two, I’m taking Treadwell. Why? Well, for the most part, Treadwell’s frame just makes me a bit more comfortable. He and Doctson are similar in size, both measuring in at 6’2.

Doctson weighs in at 202 pounds, and Treadwell at 221. While this just seems a slight difference, it really shows up on tape. Doctson looks a bit skinny and I worry how his body will hold up over a 16-game NFL season. I’ve wanted a big physical receiver on this team for years now, and Laquon Treadwell fits that bill.  He is a bit more thick in his limbs, with nice wide shoulders, and uses his frame to fend off would be defenders.  Treadwell is also an excellent run blocking receiver and that can’t be overstated in the Vikings run heavy offense.  So again, I would gladly take either one of these guys, but if I had the choice, I would take Treadwell.

Austin: Laquon Treadwell

I love Doctson, but I think Treadwell is the pick for the Vikings. Read my take in my latest mock draft!

It looks like the team loves Treadwell, but who do you like? Answer the poll and let us know!

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Austin Belisle

Austin Belisle is the West Coast's biggest Vikings fan, a football diehard cheering on the purple and yellow from sunny California. After graduating from San Jose State University in 2014, he began working full-time in corporate marketing and blogging on various sports websites. Austin's passion for the Vikings led him to Vikings Territory, where he hopes to share his lifelong enthusiasm for the team with readers on a daily basis. You can follow him on Twitter @austincbelisle

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  1. Did you guys really watch the tape? Doctson makes athletic splash plays that make you scream “Wow!”. Treadwell grabs 50/50 balls while being blanket covered by college DBs. Easy call. And BTW, Doctson played for a QB in Boykin who is so good he’s an NFL longshot…as a receiver!

  2. Would prefer going WR in the second round or in a trade down situation, but between the two I’d take Treadwell.

  3. Doctson is my preference as far as the better skilled wideout, but Treadwell might be better suited for the offense and meshing with Teddy’s strengths as a QB. In all honesty though, doubt both are available and they’re pretty close to 1A and 1B anyway…

  4. Teddy doesn’t like to throw it into tight windows. The film shows Treadwell doesn’t get much separation (even though he can still catch the ball in tight quarters). Therefore, Doctson will be better suited to play with Teddy, he’s excellent at creating space. Also, Teddy usually misses high when he does miss, Doctson is known to climb the latter to get the balls. Doctson’s drop rate 2.4%, Treadwell’s drop rate 9.5%.

    Doctson is the better fit.

    1. Teddy doesn’t like to throw in to tight windows? Or, Teddy doesn’t have the trust in his receivers to throw in to tight windows? I am not sure I know the answer to that one.

  5. OK, I guess. But what about all the noise I used to hear in these spaces like “It takes a year or two for a WR to really get going in the system (yada, yada)”? How’s a rookie WR gonna help Teddy NOW — as opposed to a mobile-agile-hostile defender high in the draft?

    1. I agree too with Sam’s assessment on the intangibles and feel Treadwell would be the best fit for the tougher attitude they seem to be trying to establish on offense. He’ll bring to that WR group what Boone is going to bring to the offensive line and I like that fact that he’s going to be an asset in the running game as a willing blocker so his overall affect on the offense should be felt on every play. My biggest concern with him is more the 33 1/2″ vertical jump than the slow 40 time as you hope a guy whose slower can make up for it by out-leaping DB’s, but the player I compare him to the most, Anquan Boldin, had the same 33 1/2″ vertical and has done pretty well for himself. I like Doctson’s abilities and think he’ll be great in a few years, but as far as getting a guy that fits what they need and will help them right away, Treadwell is my pick. I think your getting a guy that is going to have 10-12 years of consistent 70-100 catch seasons that just gets it done Sundays. I also just like the sound of Bridgewater to Treadwell better than Bridgewater to Doctson and that’s far more important than any of the analytical stuff right?

  6. IF a trade down scenario happens, unlikely you’ll see Spielman trade out of the first completely. The added fifth year you get on 1st rnd draft picks in that first contract is too valuable. Main reason he traded into the first as many times as he has. Get a guy potentially hitting his prime in that fourth and fifth year for still reasonably cheap (cheaper then they would say next contract) is important for him.

  7. Doctson will be gone. I actually think this may be a Michael Thomas debate with the way Treadwell has dropped.

  8. 4.63 was Larry Fitzgerald’s 40 time and he turned out alright. “High character guy who is a vicious run blocker.” Sounds familiar. Treadwell, no question.

    1. Fair analogy SKOL. Speed is not THE thing, many successful WR in the past and present that ran near 4.6 times. It is difficult for me to discard the opinions of many of the so called draft experts that stated, well prior to the combine, that there was not one WR this year that would have been drafted in the top 5 last year. That concerns me. But now that opinion seems to be forgotten and many mocks have Doctson and Treadwell going top 15 or top 20. Knowing that Treadwell is already an accomplished run blocker and is aggressive and wins out often on contested catches, I am leaning towards him. I cannot vouch for the accuracy of the stat, but Albert’s post above regarding drop % is interesting too…

      1. Treadwell is dropping because of the 40 time at his pro day.Just like Teddy dropped after he elected not to wear gloves at his pro day.I don’t give a damn about pro day or combine results,give me 3 years of tape any day.
        Doctson is a bust waiting to happen,he played against weak defences in the Big 12.In his junior year,almost 25% of his production came against one team,Oklahoma State.Last season against Gophers CB Eric Murray,Doctson wasn’t very good.I really hope Minnesota steer clear of Doctson.

        1. I am with you 100% on this one Aussie. I have not been sold on either one as being worth a first round pick, just too many really good defensive players in this year’s draft. There will be big bodied WRs available later in the draft that have similar uncertainties about them, so why chance it in the first? Of the two, I like Treadwell better but still not sold on him for a first round pick. I don’t lend much credence to combine results either, which is why I am hoping for Treadwell if the Vikes do in fact draft a WR in the first. Geronimo Allison and Tajae Sharpe may both have as much ceiling (but neither are as big bodied as Treadwell, they will both need to hit the weights hard) and can be had in the 3rd or 4th round. All that being said, I really like the thought of Ragland in between Barr and Kendricks. If he is available at 23 I hope that they don’t pass on him. I would also favor Floyd and Lee over a WR in round 1. Kendricks is an intelligent backer, maybe his abilities would be better exploited over all if he were in the middle while in a 4 3 set and move to weakside in the nickel. Either scenario would suit me just fine. Through the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s the Vikings always had very good LB trios, this has been lacking for a decade plus. Greenway never had two other capable LBs lining up with him. They were hurting so bad in the middle that they had to plug in Jasper Brinkley.. twice! They have 2 out of 3 now. Just gotta love Greenway and would it not have been fun to see him in his prime along with Barr and Kendricks, but that is not reality. Obviously, I would like to see the middle of their defense be relevant again.