EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. –One Vikings great is giving his stamp of approval on the newest wide receiver to wear purple and gold.
Hall of Fame wide receiver Cris Carter said Friday that the Vikings made an excellent pick with Laquon Treadwell, drafted 23rd overall by Minnesota on Thursday night.
"[Laquon is] a good receiver," Carter told Vikings.com in a phone interview. "He has good ball skills, a big, physical guy, a great blocker – he fits in well with what the Vikings are trying to do with Adrian [Peterson] and trying to add some more explosive pieces to help out Teddy [Bridgewater]. I think he's a very good fit for the Vikings."
Carter said he started communicating and building a rapport with Treadwell during his 2015 season at Ole Miss. After Treadwell declared himself for the draft, he and Carter worked together in Boca Raton, Florida, before the combine and again before Treadwell's Pro Day.
"I really go to [Cris] for advice," Treadwell said. "He's a positive mentor, in a sense. He's been there, and he texted me 'Congratulations' when I got drafted by the Vikings. We talked this morning, and he said, 'Just let those guys know you've been working with me.' "
In a press conference Friday afternoon, Treadwell expanded on the specifics he learned from Carter.
"He just has so much knowledge on the game that I didn't know was even possible," Treadwell said. "The things he was teaching me – from stretching your hands, to separation, I'm just really looking forward to working with him [again]."
Carter played for the Vikings from 1990-2001 and caught a pass in 111 straight games, a franchise record. During his 11-year tenure, Carter garnered eight Pro Bowl nods and posted an equal number of seasons with more than 1,000 receiving yards. He holds Vikings records for catches (1,004), receiving touchdowns (110) and receiving yards (12,383), as well as a team record with 40 career 100-yard receiving games.
When asked if he plans to break any of Carter's records, Treadwell smiled.
"Hopefully," Treadwell said. "I won't say that, but that's what you play football for – to be one of the best. So I'm trying to do that and go after those records."
Treadwell received some scrutiny following the combine for his time of 4.63 seconds at Mississippi's Pro Day in the 40-yard dash, but Carter said he's not concerned at all with Treadwell's skill set.
"He's faster than me," Carter said, chuckling. "He's the prototype 'X' receiver that you want, a boundary receiver. Especially in the running game, with Adrian, he's a great blocker. If they put a safety in the box, he can go in there and block him; he can dominate a cornerback in the run game.
"[The Vikings] are going to be a play-action team, and they'll be playing in great conditions at U.S. Bank Stadium," Carter added. "I think he has the potential to have a great career."
Beyond the talent and numbers that Treadwell has demonstrated on the field, Carter said he's been impressed overall by the 20-year-old's mindset and approach to the game. Carter said Treadwell recognizes the opportunity in front of him and is taking all the right steps to make the most of it.
"He's ready to work," Carter said. "I think he has not only the athletic ability, but I believe he has the intellect, the work ethic and the ability to learn with the staff they have. I have a great respect for the Vikings staff, and the wide receiver coach [George Stewart], I think, is one of the best in the business."
Treadwell will certainly face a learning curve in move to the pros, like any draftee does, and Carter said he has the utmost confidence that Treadwell will make that transition well. He said Treadwell has been "a sponge," absorbing every bit of information he can in preparing for his NFL career.
"He's shown up, he's done what he was supposed to do and he's made tremendous strides as far as what I'm trying to teach him to get acclimated to the pro game as quickly as possible," Carter said. "I think he's going to be a very, very good pro."