Here goes my best pitch for why Laquon Treadwell could be an important part of the Vikings' offense in 2018:

• The third-year receiver actually made some incremental progress last season, catching 20 passes and getting into all 16 games. It was nearly impossible not to improve on an injury-filled rookie year in which he only caught one pass, but Treadwell did improve.

• At 6-2, 215, Treadwell has good size. When he was drafted in 2016, the talk was that he could be a red- zone target. In two seasons, he has zero touchdown catches. But that could change under new offensive coordinator John DeFilippo, who values tall receivers and back of the end zone throws.

• The Vikings haven't given up on Treadwell, as he was working with the first-team offense during OTAs this week. We talked about a lot of these things on this week's Access Vikings podcast. You can listen download it via iTunes.

Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. michael.rand@startribune.com.