Wide receiver Laquon Treadwell's place in the Ole Miss receiving corps is obvious to anyone -- he's its leader, both in terms of experience and production. Treadwell's place among NFL receivers to precede him at Ole Miss is entirely another question, but one that Rebels coach doesn't hesitate in answering:
"Laquon is as good a receiver as any that I have coached. I was a receivers coach here and I had Mike Wallace, Shay Hodge and Dexter McCluster. They were all great players," Freeze said Monday. "Donte Moncrief was the best we had until that point. Laquon Treadwell is just as good as Moncrief, if not better."
Moncrief is enjoying the most pro success of that group, having nearly matched his rookie-season catch total in 2014 (32) in just six games this season (30). Moncrief was a third-round draft pick of the Indianapolis Colts in 2014. Wallace has had the best pro career of Freeze's past Ole Miss receivers, having missed just one regular-season game in his seven-year NFL career with 6,090 yards and 48 touchdowns.
There is no doubt Treadwell has recovered from a horrific injury last year (broken leg, ankle dislocation) suffered against Auburn. He's led the Rebels with 35 catches for 510 yards this season, and his physical style overwhelms smaller cornerbacks. Though there are bigger receivers than Treadwell (6-2, 210), he plays bigger than he is. As a junior, Treadwell will have to decide after the season whether to apply for early NFL draft eligibility as an underclassman, or stay at Ole Miss for one more season. A lengthy list of NFL clubs are expected to scout Treadwell and the Rebels on Saturday in a key home game against Texas A&M, including the Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears.
His speed, good but not elite, will go a long way to determine his draft projection.
But his play, at least for Freeze, speaks for itself.