Former Maryland star Stefon Diggs had a stellar rookie campaign with the Minnesota Vikings.
In the first round of Thursday evening’s NFL Draft, the Vikings found Diggs a counterpart at wide receiver in the form of Ole Miss’ LaQuon Treadwell. Treadwell was the fourth receiver selected in the opening round after Corey Coleman (No. 15), Will Fuller (No. 21), and Josh Doctson (No. 22).
Treadwell is coming off a season in which he caught 82 passes for 1,153 yards and 11 touchdowns. His receiving yardage and touchdown totals were both good for first in the SEC.
Coming into the 2015 season, Treadwell only had 10 career touchdown receptions.
After striking out on several receivers in both the draft and free agency, the Vikings appear to have gotten it right as of late. In recent years, Minnesota has tried to solve their wideout dilemma Greg Jennings, Cordarrelle Patterson, and Mike Wallace.
The Vikings really struck gold when they were able to grab Diggs in the fifth round after several teams had passed on him. Diggs was an extremely electrifying player during his time at Maryland and likely would’ve gone higher if not for injury concerns.
With Wallace signing with the Baltimore Ravens in the offseason, quarterback Teddy Bridgewater‘s top options will be Diggs, running back Adrian Peterson, tight end Kyle Rudolph, Treadwell, and Jarius Wright. While Bridgewater hasn’t exactly lit the world on fire in his first two NFL seasons, he certainly will have the right tools at his disposal in 2016.
Diggs brings a year of NFL experience to the table in 2016. In 2015, he caught 52 passes for 720 yards and four touchdowns in 13 regular season games.
Diggs started off strong as he had at least six receptions and 87 receiving yards in his first four games. He also caught a pair of touchdown passes during that stretch.
Then Diggs’ production tailed off a bit as he only had 50 or more receiving yards in the final 10 games, including Minnesota’s playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
One of the biggest problems was that the Vikings didn’t have any explosive offensive options once opposing defenses figured Diggs out. Wallace and Wright combined for just 915 receiving yards on the season.
Treadwell should help to alleviate some of Minnesota’s offensive woes because he’s a bigger target and will help the Vikings in the red zone. It’ll also allow Diggs to be effective in the slot and Treadwell’s presence should take some of the attention off Diggs.
While Treadwell obviously has to come in and learn the offense, this certainly is a pick that will benefit the former Terps star.