While last year’s first-round draft pick, cornerback Trae Waynes, did not play much on defense as a rookie, coach Mike Zimmer in his first two years with the Vikings wasn’t afraid to put worthy rookies into starting roles. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and linebackers Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks all played the majority of the snaps in their rookie years.
This year’s first-round pick, wide receiver Laquon Treadwell, is hoping to secure a significant role, too. But Zimmer, of course, will make him earn it. So far, Treadwell has mostly been working with second team in OTAs while Charles Johnson and Stefon Diggs have run routes for Bridgewater.
“He had three really good days,” Zimmer said yesterday. “I don’t know if [yesterday] was his best day, but he’s had three really good days. He’s got really good acceleration. He’s fast off the line. He runs good routes. He catches the ball good and he’s got a good feel on how to run the routes.”
Treadwell has only been the building for a few weeks, but the coaching staff has been trying to push Treadwell and his fellow rookies as much as they can despite practice restrictions during the offseason, which include the prohibition of press coverage during these voluntary workouts.
Yesterday, Treadwell had, as Zimmer put it, “a couple of flinches” while attempting to snag passes, but overall “he’s been catching the ball good.” The coach also noted that the top pick has “a lot of football instincts.”
And, since we can’t talk about footballs being thrown during the offseason without an update on how Teddy is looking, Zimmer believes the third-year quarterback has put forth a strong showing so far this spring.
“He just seems to be cutting it loose a little bit more. You know he sees it and he lets it go,” Zimmer said, later adding, “He seems like he’s, I guess, matured and he’s more comfortable in everything that he does.”