Ole Miss stud wide receiver Laquon Treadwell was taken no. 23 overall by the Minnesota Vikings in the 2016 NFL Draft, giving quarterback Teddy Bridgewater a big-bodied target on the outside to complement the team’s other wideouts, Stefon Diggs and Mike Wallace. But though Treadwell caught 82 balls for 1,153 yards and 11 touchdowns in his final season as a Rebel, he was often prone to drops. And it seemed that they came especially often on easy routes, when Treadwell simply failed to look the ball into his hands.
Lasst week, Treadwell’s issue with his hands continued into OTAs, where he dropped his fair share of passes. To remedy the problem, he spent extra time on the JUGS machine according to the Pioneer Press. Staying late on the practice field attempting to correct his weakness got the attention and approval of Vikings veterans, but the JUGS machine isn’t the only secret weapon Treadwell has been using to eliminate drops.
Working with trainer David Robinson, Treadwell has been performing what we’ll call a rolling catch drill, and it’s intense as hell. Robinson explained the drill to us when we caught up with him ahead of the NFL Draft (he’d been working with Treadwell to prepare him for the NFL Combine). He has Treadwell lie on his back, roll over to either the right or left, then immediately catch a football that’s thrown to him. Robinson said the drill is effective because Treadwell’s vision is out of focus when he comes out of the roll, making it more difficult to spot and catch the football. What he didn’t tell us was how hard he threw the ball at Treadwell.
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As soon as Treadwell is out of his roll, Robinson has already fired the ball from just a few feet away. This simulates short timing routes, when Treadwell has to get his head around when coming out of a route to quickly pick up a ball that’s already been thrown. To his credit, Treadwell catches every single pass in the video, including one he bobbles before snagging it with one hand. If he keeps that up, there’s a good chance dropped passes will be a thing of the past.