There isn’t a ton of consensus at the top of the 2016 wide receiver draft board. LaQuon Treadwell is generally considered the likely first receiver off the board, but a 4.63 40 time has some moving him down. Corey Coleman ran a 4.37 so he has the requisite speed, but at 5-11 and 194 pounds he’s a bit smaller than the prototypical NFL receiver.
Even though talents gets the multiplier factor in the value equation found in the epic tome “Fantasy Football: The Next Level”, situation and opportunity are still part of the mix. That said, without knowing where Treadwell and Coleman will land in the upcoming NFL draft, which has the brighter fantasy outlook?
In Treadwell teams get an SEC-proven commodity with an NFL body—6-2, 221 pounds. A broken leg near the end of his sophomore season slowed him down, but his 5-80 with a touchdown in Ole Miss’s upset of Alabama at the start of the 2015 season demonstrated he was back. He capped his All-American final campaign with three touchdowns in the Sugar Bowl, cementing his status among the top receivers.
Aside from getting dinged for that 40 time, Treadwell has everything the NFL wants in a wideout. He’s a fiery competitor with a strong work ethic—as evidenced by his rehab from the broken leg—and a solid football IQ. He’s physical both before and after the catch, with the hands and body control to win contested catches and the mentality—not to mention the stiff arm—to pick up yards after the catch.
Coleman has many of the same traits—good hands, success after the catch, college productivity—as Treadwell, backed in a smaller (albeit faster) frame. Coleman has the hops to make catches in traffic, but going across the middle isn’t his strong suit—nor is winning the contested catch. Both receivers need to polish their route-running skills, with Coleman perhaps slightly behind Treadwell due to the limited number of route types he ran at Baylor.
Where Coleman gets his separation on the ground, Treadwell can separate in traffic via his size, body usage and catch radius. Those abilities have drawn comparisons to Dez Bryant, Brandon Marshall and even Michael Irvin; Coleman’s comparisons run more along the lines of DeSean Jackson, Brandin Cooks and John Brown.
Both have the opportunity to be wildly successful at the pro level in the right situation. However, Coleman may be more dependent on where he lands in the draft to produce the anticipated fantasy numbers. Treadwell’s skill set, on the other hand, translates to fantasy success almost regardless of situation. Even in a run-heavy scheme, should Treadwell go off the board in the first round—as expected—he’ll be put to use in the red zone exercising his standout contested catch ability. His catches may not be as copious, his highlights not necessarily of the 80-yard variety… but his touchdowns will still make fantasy owners smile.