No Homecoming for Former Vikings First-Round Pick

Aug 24, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Laquon Treadwell (11) during team introductions prior to the game against the Arizona Cardinals at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

About two weeks ago, the Arizona Cardinals brought in an infamous Vikings first-round pick in WR Laquon Treadwell. The 27-year-old receiver has bounced around the league for the past couple years, and eventually landed on the Cardinals practice squad. This week, Arizona released him, meaning there will be no homecoming for the former Vikings first-round pick on Sunday.

Treadwell was selected with the 23rd overall pick in 2016 after playing three seasons at Ole Miss. Throughout college, he recorded 202 receptions, 2393 receiving yards, and 21 TDs. In his final season of 2015, he caught 82 balls for 1153 yards and 11 TDs for a Rebels team that went 10-3 and dominated Oklahoma State in the Sugar Bowl.

With the Vikings, Treadwell simply never caught on in the offense. He played just nine games in his rookie year of 2016. The rookie receiver couldn’t find playing time in a passing offense headlined by Stefon Diggs, Cordarrelle Patterson, Kyle Rudolph, and Adam Thielen. He was targeted just three times throughout the year and caught one pass for 15 yards.

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Over the following two seasons, Treadwell’s role progressively grew, but he never came close to the production typically associated with a first-round pick. In all, Treadwell played four seasons with the Vikings. He caught 65 passes for 701 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Minnesota opted not to re-sign Treadwell when his contract expired. He signed with the Atlanta Falcons and played five games with them in 2020. He caught six passes for 49 yards and two TDs during that season.

Treadwell’s most productive season ironically came in 2021 when he signed with the tumultuous Jacksonville Jaguars. He played 12 games in Jacksonville, starting seven of them, and caught 33 passes for 434 yards and a touchdown. He had 50+ receiving yards in six consecutive games. Prior to that, he recorded three games with that much production in his entire career.

Because of that, it’s interesting that Treadwell is yet to catch on with a team in 2022. He’s had short stints with both the New England Patriots and now the Arizona Cardinals, but he is yet to appear in a game this season.

This weekend could have been the first time that he came back to Minnesota since he left the Vikings, but alas, those chances are now over. We’ll see if the receiver catches on with another squad for the closing stretch of the season.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing as well as minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys marathon training, playing video games, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his opinions, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.