The Green Bay Packers drafted three receivers in the late rounds of the 2018 NFL Draft. After their rookie campaigns, one stands head and shoulders above the rest. Marquez Valdes-Scantling is the Packers player ready to breakout in 2019.
New head football coach Matt Lafleur comes from the Kyle Shanahan/Sean McVay coaching tree. The increasingly popular West Coast offense, accompanied by a zone running scheme has become the trendy weapon of choice in the NFL. For the Packers, Marquez represents the speed demon on the outside, having registered a 4.37-40 yard dash during his combine workout. His wheels were often on display last season, as on many occasions he and Davante Adams seemed to be the teams’ only deep threats. As former receiver Andrew Hawkins once said about Shanahan’s offense, “He needs a speed guy. He needs a guy who is faster than everyone else on the field.” The second year whiz kid may not be Marquis Goodwin, however he is the Packers receiver best suited to this key role, and therefore should find his way into the lineup over Geronimo Allison.
The native of St. Petersburg, Florida is continuing his off-season training with a longtime Packers foe. The infamous, especially in Lambeau, Randy Moss has been helping the 24-year old with the nuances of the position since last summer. Now, not many actions could cause an about face in the minds of Packers fans regarding the mercurial Hall of Famer. However, if he somehow manages to help a Green Bay player blossom into anything close to the All-World pass catcher he was, perhaps he can be forgiven.
According to Pro Football Focus, Valdes-Scantling created separation on an astonishing 70.3% of targets in 2018. Ranking him in the top 3 of all receivers with at least 50 targets. With reports from the MMQB that the former University of South Florida Bull has quickly immersed himself in Lafleur’s system, a meteoric rise could be on the horizon. All of this coming on the heels of the man himself, Aaron Rodgers, stating MVS “had a fantastic spring.” Where there’s smoke in the NFL world, there is usually fire.
Predictably in his second year, MVS should see a greater number of targets in Matt Lafleur’s offense. Having turned 73 rookie targets into 38 receptions; we can surmise that with his off-season dedication, MVS can accomplish much more in 2019. A realistic season of 110 targets, 60 catches, 900 yards, and 6 touchdowns is within reach. These numbers should merely be number 83’s benchmarks. The sky is truly the limit in a wide-open offense outside of number one target Davante Adams.
Of course, MVS putting up those numbers would suggest a successful season from Aaron Rodgers, and most importantly a trip to the playoffs for the Green Bay Packers. If the 2019 Packers are set to return the franchise to the summit of pro football, Marquez Valdes-Scantling will have a big hand in getting them there.Nick is a lifelong Packers fan. 4th and 26 was on his 13th birthday, unlucky. Follow him @CANDRAFTGEEK647 on Twitter for all your Packers draft needs and questions.