Jacksonville Jaguars: Could Laquon Treadwell be the X-Factor in Week 2?

Wide receiver Laquon Treadwell (18) of the Jacksonville Jaguars (Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports)
Wide receiver Laquon Treadwell (18) of the Jacksonville Jaguars (Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports) /

After signing with the Jacksonville Jaguars in July, wide receiver Laquon Treadwell will be making his 2021 debut in Week 2. Could the 2016 first-round pick the X-Factor?

The Jacksonville Jaguars had a well-rounded wide receiver corps ahead of their Week 2 matchup against the Denver Broncos. However, they felt like the unit could get better. They announced that they have elevated Laquon Treadwell from the practice squad to the active roster. This is interesting when you take into account that none of the Jags’ wide receivers are currently dealing with injuries. In fact, cornerback Tre Herdon is the only player that is officially listed as out ahead of Sunday’s game.

It’s possible that the 23rd overall pick in the 20216 draft had an excellent week of practice ahead of the game. Maybe it’s part of their strategy. But regardless of the reason, Treadwell will be playing his first regular-season game with the Black and Teal.

Originally, signing Treadwell looked like a depth move. At the time, the Jaguars had a surplus at wide receiver, so nobody would have batted an eye if he had been released after training camp or the preseason. After all, he was already in the third team of his NFL career and had failed to live up to his first-round billing. However, he quickly took advantage of the opportunity and had a legitimate shot to make the Jags’ final 53-man roster.

During the preseason, Treadwell hauled in six receptions for 44 yards and one touchdown. In the end, it wasn’t enough for him to make the cut but was quickly signed to the practice squad. Looking back, the wide receiver might have been a victim of the numbers game, and he will have the chance to prove what he can do on the football field.

What should the Jacksonville Jaguars expect from Laquon Treadwell?

Treadwell isn’t going to suddenly turn into a First-Team All-Pro wide receiver. He’s posted more than 20 receptions in a season just once and has averaged 10.5 yards per catch over the last five years.

Expecting Treadwell to have a 100-yard game may be too much. DJ Chark Jr., Laviska Shenault Jr., and Marvin Jones Jr. will get most of the targets against the Broncos. Treadwell would be their fifth or sixth option in the passing game but if he can come down with a couple of key receptions (maybe a touchdown reception or a catch in a crucial third-and-long), his addition to the active roster would have been worth it.

After three seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, Treadwell signed with the Atlanta Falcons last year. He went on to catch six receptions for 49 yards and a career-high two touchdowns. It’s true that the bar isn’t set particularly high but the Mississippi product should have no trouble posting career numbers in Jacksonville. For that to happen though, he needs to make the most of his opportunity in Week 2.

The Jaguars are a six-point underdog to beat the Broncos. If they can get contributions from players such as Treadwell, they could win their first game of the 2021 season.

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