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Spielman: Peterson Texts Excitement about Vikings Pick of Treadwell

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Rick Spielman spends plenty of time on the phone during NFL drafts.

Whether it's a call to finalize checkups on prospects or field offers for trades, there's plenty of communication as teams go about adding to their rosters.

One blowup of the Vikings general manager's phone on Thursday night, however, came from a player already on the roster: three-time NFL rushing champ Adrian Peterson.

The running back, who was Spielman's first pick in Minnesota (seventh overall in 2007) was excited about the newest Viking, receiver Laquon Treadwell, Spielman said in an interview with Vikings.com's Mike Wobschall.

"Adrian texted me and was very excited about it," Spielman said.

Spielman outlined a main reason multiple times, including when asked about Treadwell's commitment and ability to block on run plays. Spielman and Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer said they also admired the fortitude Treadwell showed in returning from a broken leg suffered in 2014 to post 82 catches for 1,153 yards and 11 touchdowns in 13 games in 2015.

"When I'm talking, that's one of the points I'm making," Spielman said. "He'll do the dirty work. He's not afraid to block, he's very competitive and he's an extremely talented receiver, which is the most important part."

Treadwell said his physicality stems from playing safety and defensive end earlier in his career before becoming a receiver. The 6-foot-2, 221 pounder's size doesn't hurt either, and those attributes are bolstered by an inner desire.

"Every play, just every play it's in me to have fun and take the game every minute," Treadwell said. "That's what you're taught as a kid, play every snap like it's your last. I had to learn that the hard way from getting injured. Now I don't take the game for granted, and I appreciate the littlest things and the littlest coaching points that I can get. Everything from being great, that's what I'm all about. I'm just going to stick to it. That comes with the territory, just playing every play."

Zimmer told Wobschall the primary evaluation was based on Treadwell's effectiveness as a receiver and the opportunity to provide Teddy Bridgewater with a large target who also has a big catch radius.

"We obviously took him because of him as a receiver, but he is the best blocking receiver that I have ever seen," Zimmer told Twin Cities media members. "I can't remember one that blocks as well as this guy does that I have seen on tape. That was another added bonus with him as well."

When asked about that compliment and his pride in blocking, Treadwell said, "Honestly, I learned young and I learned that in high school, the technique of blocking and settling your feet and waiting for the defender and being two yards apart from him."

I can't really describe it, it's really natural, I learned it and I stuck with it," Treadwell continued. "I'm physical and can use it to my advantage to either shed the guy, let him go and just push him the way you want to go, or if he's waiting, I just engage. It goes either way."

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