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Marquez Valdes-Scantling on the Right Track for a Breakout 2019

Of all the Packers young wide receivers, no one is generating more buzz than Marquez Valdes-Scantling. The 2018 fifth-rounder produced a solid rookie campaign in which he went for 581 yards on 38 receptions and hauled in two touchdowns. His yards and receptions put him in the top-10 among all rookie receivers last season while his 217 yards after the catch were good enough for fifth overall. Valdes-Scantling’s speed and nuances for his position have Green Bay coaches and players raving about his upside even as he enters only his second NFL season.

During OTAs, Davante Adams spoke on Valdes-Scantling’s fit in Matt LaFleur’s system going as far to say the offense is “catered” to a guy of his skill set.

“I think this offense is really catered for a guy like him,” said Adams. “He’s seeing that and recognizing it, we’ve had conversations about it and I think that he’s really starting to understand how this thing works. He’s come in and made some plays.”

This summer, Valdes-Scantling has looked to take the next step after putting together an impressive stretch towards the middle of last season. From week four facing the Buffalo Bills to week nine against the Miami Dolphins, he totaled 22 catches for 399 yards and had both of his touchdown grabs. Unfortunately, his play tapered off down the stretch but his potential was made abundantly clear.

The team later resigned Geronimo Allison after his fast start in 2018, but Valdes-Scantling was the guy lining up on the outside opposite of Adams during recent OTA practices. Meanwhile, Allison started in the slot where Randall Cobb was once a Pro-Bowler with the Packers before he signed with the Dallas Cowboys this offseason.

Two systems in your first two years can be daunting for a guy in Valdes-Scantling’s shoes, however, he is not alone. Jake Kumerow is the oldest Green Bay receiver and is only 27 but has only played in five career games. Then there is Equanimeous St. Brown and J’Mon Moore who were drafted with Valdes-Scantling. Adams is the renown leader of the group seeing that he has the most experience and success.

Adams calls himself a natural leader and confirmed that in so many words before commenting on the progression he’s seen from Valdes-Scantling.

Possibly his greatest asset is his speed which was validated with a 4.37 40-yard dash at the combine. Both Adams and Aaron Rodgers have touched on Valdes-Scantling’s speed in the past. Rodgers noted last month how he plays much closer to his timed speed while on the field. Formers receivers such as James Jones and Jordy Nelson did not post elite times but were able to beat corners using elite play speed. A large part of this comes from playing loose and being able to mentally process coverages on the fly.

Just a couple of weeks ago, NFL Network’s Brian Baldinger offered some high praise after he compared Valdes-Scantling to the former Packers great in Nelson.

 

Baldinger highlights his speed using examples of big plays from 2018 and then eludes to the idea that Valdes-Scantling can possibly be the next up-and-comer.

“Nobody thought that he could be a starter, but maybe they didn’t think Davante Adams or Jordy Nelson could become elite players either,” Baldinger states.

Like Adams and Nelson, Marquez-Valdes showed he can win from a variety of alignments. A little over half of his snaps (54 percent) were taken as an outside receiver with the remaining coming in the slot.  

Once training camp starts later this month, you may see him play outside but anticipate him moving around quite a bit. LaFleur will get creative and try to manipulate defenses by maneuvering players and implementing their skills in different ways. Valdes-Scantling should have the chance to run by corners and safeties on the outside, inside, or after going in motion. His speed will only spark more creativity.

If all goes well and he stays healthy, the stage is set for a big year from Valdes-Scantling in 2019.

 

 

 

Brandon Carwile is a Packers writer who also enjoys watching and breaking down film. Follow him on Twitter @PackerScribe.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (26) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

kevgk's picture

Thanks for sharing that video, very cool. The Packers seem to suddenly have a lot of options at WR, especially with depth like Kumerow, EQ, and Gmo making plays underneath because the number 1 corner is on Davante and the safety is playing deep coverage against MVS on deep routes

Guam's picture

The Packers need a productive #2 and MVS would be an ideal candidate. He has the speed to stretch defenses and create space for other WRs as well as the quickness to sperate from defenders. I hope he has a breakout year.

If two of the group of MVS, ESB, Moore, Allison and Kumerow develop into reliable WRs, the Packer offense could be explosive this year.

Go Pack Go!

dblbogey's picture

I'd say if 3 of that group develop, given the likelihood of injury over the course of the season.

Guam's picture

If MLF's offense has been described accurately, I believe we will be seeing fewer 3 or 4 WR sets and a lot more two TE sets this season. That will reduce the need for 3 of the young WRs to develop quickly, but it will put more pressure on the TE group to stay healthy and play well.

Oppy's picture

It would also put a lot of pressure on the QB to use the TEs, and maybe even utilize area of the field between the hash marks.

Coldworld's picture

Having a speed and size combination like his together with Rodgers, a good O line and plenty of other threats is exciting.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Just stay HEALTHY!!!

AgrippaLII's picture

It would be great to see a Packer Offense that can take it to the "house" on any given down again. Given the new look offense and some young and hungry skill position players...I don't see any reason why it can't happen again.

Nononsense's picture

I see a very productive season for this young man. I believe hes gonna get some carries as well on some end arounds or reverses and why not, hes the fastest guy on offense and will be used in motion quite a bit.

Its crazy to think that 3 of our best players on offense were 5th round picks, Jones, MVS and Linsley.

Lare's picture

Production last year doesn't mean much as it was a different offensive system with different routes.

These guys all start out this season on equal footing, the ones that learn the new system the earliest will be the most productive.

Having the athleticism of Adams, MVS and ESB helps make up during the learning curve.

stockholder's picture

WAY To EARLY! He has to Earn IT! Let's remember he is Raw. Getting Rodgers favoritism, or trust, is no easy task. His other noticeable problem is staying on his feet. (with the ball). I suggest; Donald Driver gets pita to help him with the proper gracefulness. Hitting the landing will only help. The packers need explosion. MVS has the tools. He just needs to want the ball and show what he can do with it.

Samson's picture

Love the speed & jumping ability!
Those quick outs to MVS will work all season.

6-2 at the halfway mark leading to North Division domination. -- Starts with da Bear Beat-Down on 9/5/19. (60 more days)
Booyah!!

4thand1's picture

Just throw him the dam ball.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

It's pretty cool to see the Packers so loaded with young, fast, big recievers.

Oppy's picture

The size factor of this WR corps is noticeable. I don't recall having this much length at WR.

KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

Love fact Packers have an abundance of talent for Rodgers at WR. They are loaded with good talent.

Good health on offense of course is important but even with not drafting offense for years the Packers have significantly more talent on offense than many give them credit for. Whether QB, WR, RB's, OL, and possibly TE's the Packers have talent. Enough talent to win the Division and make playoffs....just stay reasonably healthy.

Packer Fan's picture

MVS, Kumerow, Allison or St Brown. Who will step up and excel? We won't know until about weeks 4 to 8. Until then, just an opinion. I figure one or two of them will step up. Moore, not so much.

Bryan Chisholm's picture

If MVS does break out, along with a couple of 2nd yr players.. I think that only adds to the idea that Thompson really was just incapable of making good decisions compared to his earlier years in GB. It feels as if Gute has this team light-years ahead of Thompson's last seasons team in just 2 years. Gute's just confirming what we all knew IMO.

flackcatcher's picture

Ah, we still don't know the extent of Mark Murphy's interference in player personal decisions. I believe it was far greater than reported. We still do not know how Ted Thompson's health issues effected his run as GM from 2015-2018. What we fans saw was the result starting in 2017. Here is what we know. Thompson wanted out in 2014, he above any one else knew his medical problems could due damage to the team. Remember the great GM search headed by Murphy that went on for two years and produce what? The current GM (IAMGUTE) is here because the Board of Directors forced Murphy to hire him. How much did Thompson work to get Gute hired is still unreported to us. My guess is, far more than we know.

DThomas's picture

flackcatcher, What evidence do you have that, "Thompson wanted out in 2014"? And for, "The current GM (IAMGUTE) is here because the Board of Directors forced Murphy to hire him."?

flackcatcher's picture

Public record DThomas. Thompson during the 2014 run told Tom Silverstien (MJS) in a interview that the Packers were planning a succession plan which they would have in place next year, this was before the NFC champ game that year.Murphy asked by Jason Wilde of ESPN during stockholder's 2015 meeting that he is leading the search, and would have a number of candidates by the start of that season for them to interview. Murphy ask on video why no announcement on the new GM during 2016 Packer fan tour. Now here's where it gets strange. Murphy makes no announcement nor does he address the vacant GM position after the 2017 season. By this time Thompson is in in Texas undergoing treatment. Not life threatening, but is unable to be in Green Bay. Newspaper then TV and Radio pick up the Ted's not in the house story. Weeks later IAM is a favorite for two NFL positions, he flies down to Huston where the Texan's are about to offer him their GM position. He gets a couple of calls, one from Murphy, and another call who has still not been ID. Gute cancels the interview and returns back to Green Bay post haste. That night after he is back in Green Bay, Gute accepts the Packers offer and becomes the GM. To here it in Gute's own words. See the Jason Wilde interview on his show where he interviewed Gute about that night. Just search ESPN Gute and GM interview it should show up early n the search. Short story is the board ask Murphy why there was no GM in place. What answer he gave that night is unknown. But whatever Murphy said pushed the board to make an offer to Gute just before his interview. Gute says that the Texans had already made an offer and he was going down to sign the contract when the call came. What we know is the call did not come from Murphy, but came either from someone very close to the Board, or and a former Board member with extremely close ties to the Packer organization. In Gute's interview, he made clear that he said yes, got on the first plane for Wisconsin pronto. Also in Gute's contract he had no authority over personal matters. The Board rewrote Gute's GM contract to expressly note that Gute had final say in a coaching and personal matters. And that's how we got our current GM. Crazy huh-:)

Nick Perry's picture

It's AWESOME to see some of the Packers youngsters being pointed out as "Breakout" players for the upcoming season from people OTHER than Packers fans. What the video showed was a raw 5th round draft pick showing the necessary talents to play the WR in the NFL at a high level. Throw in Rodgers had already started to trust and look for MVS as a rookie... DAMN, this is exciting!

murf7777's picture

I’m excited about MVS potential. The film shows he has a lot of abilities....Only question I have is why did his playing time diminish in the later part of the year?

flackcatcher's picture

More likely MVS, like all first year players, hit the "Wall'. We saw what happened to Moore, he could not adjust to the mental side of the game. MVS did, but like most first years, he got worn down physically. Same for QSB. If the WR core group had not IR than both 1st years would have fine, and Moore's introduction to the pro level would have far easier to manage. Not their fault.

DThomas's picture

I like the young talent they've acquired at WR. I'm confident the group of Allison, MVS, St. Brown, and Kumerow will produce at least two contributors to the Adams-led corp. Two of the three rookie WRs flashed potential last season - J'mon Moore disappointed, but he'll get his chances. It's a shame Kumerow "celebrated" his way to an abbreviated season but I like what I saw from him, too. Davis may even surprise in a limited WR role. And as Brandon mentioned, Kumerow's the oldest at 27. The group is young but I think very talented - I think they're better off as a WR group then many pundits.

IceBowl's picture

DThomas'

Kumerow threw away millions last year.

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