Odell Beckham Jr. and Nelson Agholor aren’t the only former first-round picks who could transform the Baltimore Ravens’ passing game. Quarterback Lamar Jackson has another potential new weapon in the shape of a 2016 first-rounder “looking to resuscitate his career.”
Laquon Treadwell is trying to catch on with his seventh team since being selected 23rd overall by the Minnesota Vikings seven years ago. He’s already “gained some traction” at Ravens training camp, according to Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic.
Treadwell snared “a nice one-handed snag for a touchdown and was rewarded with a flying chest bump from Andrews,” at practice on Thursday, August 3. The 28-year-old also got the better of cornerback Jalyn Armour-Davis on a deep route during the same session, per Zrebiec.
These are only brief snapshots for a player who still faces an uphill battle just to claim a roster spot. Yet if Treadwell can finally unlock the talent that made him a top-25 pick, the Ravens will have gained a new playmaker for a revamped passing game on the cheap.
Draft Flop Needs to Stand Out
Treadwell may already be in the last chance saloon of his NFL career. He’s bounced around since not making the grade with the Vikings, having brief stints with the Atlanta Falcons, Jacksonville Jaguars and Seattle Seahawks.
To finally find a permanent home with the Ravens, Treadwell must stand out among a crowd. He’s helping his case with plays like the touchdown grab over Armour-Davis.
Treadwell is going to need a few more plays like this to distinguish himself from receivers who have a higher pedigree. Beckham hasn’t played in over a season because of a knee injury, but he’s a Super Bowl winner who’s also a former Offensive Rookie of the Year award winner with three Pro Bowl berths on his CV.
OBJ isn’t the only high-profile wideout on the roster. Agholor was taken 20th overall in the 2015 NFL draft by the Philadelphia Eagles, with whom he won a Super Bowl in 2017.
The Ravens added to Agholor and Beckham, by using their first-round pick in this year’s draft to select Boston College standout Zay Flowers. He’s part of a major investment in bolstering Jackson’s supporting cast, but the newcomers have yet to have a transformative effect on a pedestrian passing game.
Ravens Still Struggling for Improvement on Offense
Treadwell might be catching the eye, but the rest of the Ravens’ new-look offense is struggling to click. New coordinator Todd Monken has already given a damning verdict on his unit’s progress during camp.
The stalled progress manifested in frustration from Jackson and All-Pro tight end Mark Andrews a day later, per Zrebiec: “Friday’s practice included quarterback Lamar Jackson punting a football and tossing aside his helmet after another blitzer got a free run at him and forced him to throw the ball away, and Jackson’s favorite target, tight end Mark Andrews, flipping off and yelling an expletive at a referee for not calling defensive pass interference.”
Those outbursts did little to accelerate the Ravens’ learning curve in Monken’s offense. Not based on Saturday’s interception-laden practice.
Baltimore quarterbacks were guilty of nine picks on the day, with four credited to Jackson, according to ESPN’s Jamison Hensley.
This many setbacks prove the Ravens are still lacking chemistry and precision, despite the influx of so much marquee talent. It means Monken and head coach John Harbaugh should still be open to the emergence of a surprise candidate who can make a difference.
Treadwell has a lot to prove before he earns that kind of faith, but he’s at least off to a decent start.