MVS Ready for Next Step in 2021

Wide receiver needs to take the next step in his development in 2021. 

After a stagnant second NFL season, Marquez Valdes-Scantling saw notable improvement in 2020. Now entering the final year of his rookie contract, he needs to take the next step in his development to secure another contract.

Valdes-Scantling’s biggest hurdles are inconsistency and drops. Last season, he showed some improvement by becoming a more reliable wide receiver in the Green Bay Packers’ offense, setting career-highs in receiving yards, yards per receptions, and touchdowns.

However, drops, and to an extent consistency, are still an issue. Valdes-Scantling suffered some major drops last season, which would have made his third year even more productive. In week 13 against the Philadelphia Eagles, Valdes-Scantling dropped a pass that was perfectly placed by Aaron Rodgers and would have resulted in a huge gain.

This was two weeks after he had one of the most turbulent games of his career in which Valdes-Scantling’s overtime fumble led the Packers to their third loss of the season at the hands of the Indianapolis Colts. However, the game would not have even reached overtime had it not been for Valdes-Scantling’s incredible contested catch on third and 10 when the offense was backed up to their own six-yard line late in the game.

Valdes-Scantling finished the game with three catches for 55 yards, but it further validated the inconsistencies he has suffered as a pro. However, for the most part, Valdes-Scantling was still more consistent in 2020 than he had been his first two seasons.

He emerged as Green Bay’s most effective downfield threat, as he tied for the league lead in catches for over 50 yards. Valdes-Scantling and Kansas City speedster Tyreek Hill both finished with five. Also, Valdes-Scantling’s yards per game saw a sizable increase from the previous season. In 2019, he averaged 28.3 yards per game, but that number increased to 43.1 in 2020.

Valdes-Scantling was more productive on a week-to-week basis last year, as he had seven games totaling at least 50 receiving yards. He had seven games of at least 50 receiving yards in his first two seasons combined.

Valdes-Scantling went on to have a career game against the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2020 when he hauled in four catches for 149 yards, including a 78-yard touchdown.  He also had to a great performance in the NFC Championship Game, leading all Green Bay receivers with 115 yards on four receptions and a touchdown. On the biggest of stages, the unpredictable former fifth-rounder showed up.

There are still plenty of things Valdes-Scantling needs to improve, and drops are atop the list. In 2020, Valdes-Scantling had the most drops of his career. When he beats his man over the top, he’s expected to come down with the ball. Especially when he’s by himself.

If the ending to the game against Indianapolis gone differently, or had he not dropped so many deep passes, we could be having a very different conversation about Valdes-Scantling’s breakout year. Valdes-Scantling knows what he has to do, and 2021 presents him with a great chance to have another strong campaign, which could lead to a lot of money next offseason.

If Valdes-Scantling can get rid of some of the drops and continue to improve as a deep threat, there’s no reason he can’t have a stronger year next season. If that happens, the Packers may consider bringing him back.

 

 

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

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6 points

Comments (32)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
mnbadger's picture

March 31, 2021 at 12:09 pm

Well stated, I like the guy. I'm hoping he balls out this coming season so we have a tough decision to make this time next year. GPG

8 points
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PF4L's picture

March 31, 2021 at 12:48 pm

In simple speak...the Packers are looking for MVS to take that 4th year leap.

Although he'll give you a small handful of flash plays, after 3 seasons, he has a career target catch rate of 50.5%.
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Hardly the numbers of a strong #2 or #3 receiver. It's tough to get anything longer than a 1 year second contract, or a contract without a clear out after year 1.
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Cash will be damn tight a year from now, so he better put on his big boy pants and catch the ball.
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Side note: Davante Adams catch rate his first two seasons was 55.3% and some Packer fans were screaming for him to be benched, even released.
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Adams 2020 catch rate was 77.1%
Adams current career target catch rate is 64.8%

1 points
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NoNonsense's picture

March 31, 2021 at 02:53 pm

In 2019 MVS had a catchable target rate of 61.4% with a target quality of 4.1. His catch percentage was only 45.6 but his true catch percentage was 74.3 with 3 drops.

In 2020 those numbers were 73, 6.9, 52.4 and 71.7 but this time he was credited with 9 drops.

Yes still way too many drops and too inconsistent but it goes to show that not all the targets he sees are even catchable. We all know how Rodgers hates to throw Ints, so thats always gonna be part of the reason for his low catch percentage.

Wanna compare him to other WRs, this is the website where I got those numbers.

https://www.playerprofiler.com/nfl/marquez-valdes-scantling/#!#current-year

3 points
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PF4L's picture

March 31, 2021 at 06:26 pm

That's Nonsense....Ok, we have to brush up on our reading skills.
What did i write?

I wrote "Target Catch Rate"
Meaning...catches vs targets thrown.
Targets thrown = amount of passes (attempted passes) thrown his way.

192 pass target attempts...97 catches = 50.520% target catch rate.

Thank you for understanding.

-5 points
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PF4L's picture

March 31, 2021 at 06:25 pm

A bad trait of MVS when running a deep route is that he slows down when he turns his head....go back and watch.

Rodgers knows MVS's speed, so he launces the ball accordingly, so if MVS slows up, the ball goes too far and it "looks like" Rodgers over threw him.

The other scenario on "missed" throws, is when MVS isn't where he is supposed to be.

Now...factoring in both MVS and Rodgers history...what's more likely, Rodgers can't hit his route target, or MVS ran the wrong route?
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C'mon man.
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Sometimes we need to think a little deeper below the surface Nonesense.

1 points
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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

March 31, 2021 at 08:59 pm

That's a pretty good website. I've used it many times.

1 points
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TarynsEyes's picture

March 31, 2021 at 07:53 pm

Yes, Adams certainly made the jump and his catch rate is now exemplary. Can one imagine where the Packers would be had he not blossomed in his 3rd season. Are we hoping/banking that MVS will do the same in his 4th? The problem is they are so far apart in their 3rd seasons, the shining light of hope is closer toward dark to believe the next jump from MVS will be light saving. 50/50 isn't as good a bet or the basis for betting it, as some may perceive it to be.

3 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

March 31, 2021 at 10:12 pm

They will bring in a top pick or two in 2022. Maybe a guy is pulled into the WR room from this draft,preferably a slot guy with quicks.

0 points
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stockholder's picture

March 31, 2021 at 01:01 pm

So Many wanted his head. Boy did that change.

4 points
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Leatherhead's picture

March 31, 2021 at 01:46 pm

Yeah, but he dropped 4 passes.......

If MVS has the season I’m expecting, we won’t be able to resign him. We might not be able to even if he drops four more passes.

The catch rate stuff is kind of bullshit. He dropped four. What caused the other incompletions? Inaccurate throws? Good defense? What? Obviously, it’s easier to complete an 8 yard out than a 40 yard downfield strike.

3 points
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PF4L's picture

March 31, 2021 at 06:12 pm

The problem with MVS is that he has shown he can't run short precise routes. Otherwise he'd have a higher target catch rate, but he's unreliable.

2 points
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BuckyBadger's picture

March 31, 2021 at 01:57 pm

Packers are going to need someone to take over for Adams in the very need future. Not only is his contract up next year but so are the years in his prime. Most WRs drop off around 29. Even if the resign or extend Adam they will still need a new #1 very soon. Can't keep running with these late round or undrafted guys for ever. Have to restock the WR corp like they did early in Rodgers career.

4 points
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Stroh's picture

March 31, 2021 at 11:22 pm

WR drop off in production when they lose speed. Adams is different in that he doesn't rely on speed to gain separation. He'll be able to play at a very high level til his mid 30's. He can continue putting up 100/1200/12 or better seasons for another 4 yr contract.

MVS is the guy who needs his speed to be productive. His problem is he doesn't catch the ball when its outside his frame. He needs the ball to be at his body, for the most part. If he has to extend himself to catch it, he likely won't catch it. On deep throws Rodgers has to make sure MVS doesn't have to extend himself. That is also true on short/intermediate routes. MVS also doesn't have any elusiveness. He doesn't have short area quicks . So his effective routes are mostly limited to routes at the top of the route tree.

Adams can be a legit #1 for 4+ yrs. MVS should get a 2nd contract but he won't ever be a volume receiver. But he has a specific and very important role. I think both will get another contract from the Packers. Need to add another WR who can be a legit #2, to take a little off pressure off Adams, and allow MVS to stay in his specialized role.

3 points
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Guam's picture

April 01, 2021 at 07:52 am

Great points Stroh! Adams reminds me of Donald Driver with his footwork and exceptional hands. Adams will be productive longer than most WRs because his success does not rely on speed.

2 points
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hud's picture

March 31, 2021 at 02:27 pm

MVS had a good year, drops withstanding. He was 5th in the league in yards per target, a measure of efficiency, and he had 690 yards, which is decent volume. He average yardage per catch more than outweighs the drops he has.

1 points
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Roadrunner23's picture

March 31, 2021 at 02:33 pm

MVS-Lazard and Funchess are all good #3 types, the Packers still could use a dynamic #2, but with the #1 offense last year, they be ok.

4 points
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davidhoff@mchsi.com's picture

March 31, 2021 at 03:03 pm

When you get behind your man and are unobstructed ans still don't catch it, they iy is a drop. Stats don't always see it that way. MVS is a damn good route runner at speed and gets clear more often than not (at 1 on 1 ), but coverage is still intense. A coach said that his head bounced as he altered his speed to catch the ball. Maybe that contributes bet, that's way over my head, huh?

0 points
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PF4L's picture

April 01, 2021 at 10:12 am

His head bounced?

Here....When MVS is running a deep route, when he turns his head, he subconsciously slows down. Watch some his game tape and iso on that, you can see it.

When Rodgers overthrows him, that is usually the reason why.

0 points
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fastmoving's picture

March 31, 2021 at 03:31 pm

High ceiling, great guy who works hard every day. Smart .

Just what we need to stretch the field. Really glad be have him. The Packers always believed in him and it paid great dividents.

Some here wanted him cut (2019/2020), would have been a huge mistake. So

8 points
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Coldworld's picture

March 31, 2021 at 04:18 pm

I hope all our skill position players are ready for their next step. Statues are better outside the atrium.

1 points
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Swisch's picture

April 01, 2021 at 06:53 am

I'm okay with downvotes on this comment, because it's going to be controversial. That being said, I'd be glad to know why people may disagree, or perhaps even agree.
Also, I'm glad to be wrong, but my here is my prediction: MVS is so good next season that we re-sign him but not Davante.
I'm a huge fan of Davante, and don't want to see him go, but he's getting a bit older, toward the age of 30 -- so I wonder if he has more than two or three years left at an elite level. Plus, I'm not so sure we can afford both Davante and Jaire.
Instead, I think we may re-sign MVS instead after what will be a breakout season. One thing MVS showed in the playoff game against the Bucs was really good hands. I think he's going to be dangerous catching passes all over the field, and running after the catch.
I also think Lazard is going to stick around for awhile with the Packers while getting better and better. In addition, we'll draft one or two WRs in a month, one of whom will be a shifty slot receiver.
Now if Aaron Rodgers leaves after next season, then maybe we sign Davante with a contract similar to the one we gave to Aaron Jones, that is for two or three years.
On a related note, I hope the offense this upcoming season is not so much focused on Rodgers-to-Davante. I see Davante as still the main guy, but MVS and Lazard being more involved. Also, the Packers may still be on a continuing transition to more running plays, plus more passes to tight ends and running backs.
To conclude, I generally like keeping our guys all through their careers if at all possible -- but it's really difficult with the contradictory dynamics of getting older and wanting a big payout.
Whatever happens with Davante, I see stardom for MVS. Maybe not pro bowls, but at least close for a few seasons going forward.

-1 points
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PF4L's picture

April 01, 2021 at 10:02 am

Look...i like Lazard, i like MVS.....but, both of them are looking to make a 4th year leap.

If they don't...like it or not, there comes a time where they are what they are.

We need a strong #2, a quick, precise slot receiver like a young hungry Randall Cobb. A reliable guy to move the chains, plus a guy like that helps free up others.

This should have been addressed in the last few years, instead of just drafting 3 receivers in the late rounds and hoping you found one good one. Or picking up Funchess who barely has a better target catch rate than MVS.

All the Packers good receivers were drafted in the 1st or 2nd rounds the last 15-20 years.

There is a reason for that.

1 points
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Swisch's picture

April 01, 2021 at 10:49 am

It's good to be somewhat in agreement, PF4L, as I'm excited about finding a slot receiver like Randall Cobb and Cole Beasley and Cooper Kupp.
We have plenty of the tall receivers, it seems, and need a shifty and agile little guy with some toughness in the middle of the field.
It'll be interesting to see how early the Packers go for a receiver with needs also at CB and DL so urgent. I'd put WR a little lower on the needs scale at about the same level of as OL and ILB.
It is indeed a big year for both MVS and Lazard, and my predictions for them to shine may not come to pass, so to speak. I'm just going with my sincere best sense of things, plus maybe a little wishful thinking.
A question I would have to fans in general is whether they think MVS and Lazard are capable of quicker footwork and more precise routes. I'm hoping they've been learning from Davante and are doing the appropriate drills even now.

1 points
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PF4L's picture

April 01, 2021 at 02:40 pm

I used to think receiver was our biggest need, and i was probably justified for thinking that.
Even though i still think it's a great need. We have a glaring need at cornerback.

King didn't take that "4th year leap".
Lets be honest, he gave up 14 easy points in shoddy coverage, with no talent behind him to turn to. That is on Gute.

The receiver need has taken so long, that a new greater need has popped up in the meantime.
But that also...went unaddressed. other than giving King a new contract with a raise of 3.7 million.

The Packers have one more swing at the bat with generally the same team, before the salary cap of 2022 flips this team on it's head.

1 points
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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

March 31, 2021 at 09:04 pm

Even if MVS does not get one whit better, he will play in the NFL for years to come.

If he can learn to actually run shorter routes well he will be unaffordable.

3 points
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PF4L's picture

April 01, 2021 at 09:49 am

In the NFL....Ya gotta catch the damn ball. You have to be somewhat reliable.

0 points
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KneelYoung's picture

March 31, 2021 at 09:08 pm

Elijah Moore WR from Ole Miss would be a superstar for us. Could also return kicks and punts. Fast and quick which is needed in our offense especially in the red zone. He would be an incredible addition.

4 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

March 31, 2021 at 10:22 pm

First team ALL-SEC along with DeVonta Smith. Dynamic in space.

1 points
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Droski's picture

March 31, 2021 at 10:16 pm

Nice read, fans were trying to slam him so hard during the 2020 season especially for the fumble in that Colts game but that was a really quick strip and just a good defensive play. I couldn't fault MVS for that and I was one of the few fans saying (like the writer of this article stated) we wouldn't have even been in overtime if he hadn't come through for us on that long drive in the 4th quarter. And yes in the championship game, the biggest game of his career he really showed up, which is very impressive considering Tampa bay's db's held the Green bay receivers all day. Overall MVS was still inconsistent on the season but at the same time he showed huge improvements, showed he can make some great contested catches and came through in a lot of key moments. I don't how in the hell some fans still think we should just move on from him.

3 points
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Bear's picture

April 01, 2021 at 12:53 am

If you use each players catch rate and yards per catch Adams would be our 3rd best receiver. Last year Adams had 149 targets and totaled 1374 yards.

If MVS had gotten 149 targets with his catch rate he would have had 1630 yards.

Lazard with his catch rate and having 149 targets would have totaled 1452 yards.

In reviewing game tapes Rodgers keyed on Adams even when Lazard or MVS was open.

4 points
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Leatherhead's picture

April 01, 2021 at 07:29 am

Davantevision.

4 points
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scullyitsme's picture

April 01, 2021 at 10:27 am

We sign him to a modest contract to be our 4th long ball receiver, anything else is quite delusional. Reading most of these posts makes me think the commenters are delusional. MVS is nothing like adams. Never will be, stop with the “ everyone wanted to be rid of Davante” crap. I didn’t, davante had all the tools, just needed to put it together, MVS is a one trick pony. He can get better at that, but he’ll never get better at the rest...eye test people, use your eyes. If we are lucky he’ll turn into Ted Ginn jr. that’s who he is. There’s a place for that on the team, but he’s not the next superstar in the making. If he was on the free agent market right now there’d be crickets, unless the raiders wanted him. They are suckers for speed

-2 points
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