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Packers' Marquez Valdes-Scantling in line for more opportunities

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Packers' Marquez Valdes-Scantling in line for more opportunities

-- There's no shortage of confidence with Marquez Valdes-Scantling.

The Green Bay Packers' fifth-round pick in April's draft has shined in an offense that has otherwise fallen to abysmal standards in 2018, offering a glimmer of promise at a position that could lose its two biggest contributors this offseason.

While Davante Adams and the two other rookie receivers drafted along with Valdes-Scantling are otherwise staying put, both Randall Cobb and Geronimo Allison will be free agents at the end of the season. Barring anything unforeseen, that could very well be how the chips fall.

Such unfoldings only spell a rise in playing time for Valdes-Scantling, much like recent situations have in the last few weeks. Valdes-Scantling was second at his position in snaps played, trailing only Adams.

With Allison sent to injured reserve for a groin injury, that probably won't be changing anytime soon.

"I know I can play, and I know I can be a helpful asset to this team," Valdes-Scantling said on Wednesday. "That confidence has been in me since day one. There hasn’t been a moment where I’m like, ‘Oh, wait, do I belong in this league?’ I know I do."

Earning his reps and beating out his competition is nothing new for Valdes-Scantling, a St. Petersburg, Florida native.

"There's a lot of great players down there, that's just how I was raised."

Valdes-Scantling has only played extensively since the first week of October against the Detroit Lions. He only registered a single catch for three yards during the first three weeks of the season, and still, Valdes-Scantling leads all rookie receivers with the most yards per reception (21.1).

He offers the Packers' offense the element of a deep threat that they haven't had in recent memory. His combination of quick feet and smooth hands makes him a dynamic threat to line up on the outside, and preferably -- for opposing teams -- not someone that you want to be lined up one-on-one with a cornerback. 

"They’re starting to pay attention to me more, but I wouldn’t say they’re changing their coverages around me. We got guys like Davante who’s gonna draw a double coverage that’ll leave someone else single, so I’m just taking advantage of my opportunities when they arise."

He's even earned the endorsement of quarterback Aaron Rodgers on numerous occasions, most recently on Wednesday when Rodgers called the No. 174 overall pick's speed "different" from what the Packers have had in years.

"He’s a natural, fast guy and he plays fast," Rodgers said. "Some guys are timed fast and maybe don’t play as fast with the pads on. Some guys like James Jones, who didn’t time very fast, play faster with pads on. He timed fast I’m sure but he plays really fast. You have to respect the vertical routes with Marquez and he’s made the most of his opportunities."

Valdes-Scantling is up to par with the progress of former successful receivers to play for the Packers, including the aforementioned Jones and Greg Jennings.

Through the first eight games of their rookie years, both Jones and Jennings were even with 29 receptions, only Jennings tallied 485 yards and three touchdowns to Jones' 432 yards and two touchdowns.

Valdes-Scantling, meanwhile, saw more than one target for the first time in week four against the Buffalo Bills -- he caught a 38-yard deep ball that ended up being his lone reception of the game. Over the next four games, he's compiled 15 catches on 27 targets.

While Valdes-Scantling hasn't seen action for most of the season, his production in just the last five games alone is close enough to that of Jennings and Jones to offer enough reason for optimism. That, and topping 100 yards in two of his last three games.

"You have to respect the vertical routes with Marquez," Rodgers said. "He’s made the most of his opportunities."

__________________________

Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV and a contributor/analyst for the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (60) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Rak47's picture

MVS really does have all the tools to be a special talent. I hope he stays professional and keeps his head on straight,and if he does he will reap the rewards down the road.

Rak47's picture

Deleted!

The TKstinator's picture

Censored.

The TKstinator's picture

A not so grim reaper (of rewards).

Lare's picture

Hope that saying MVS is "in line for more opportunities" works better for him than it has for Aaron Jones.

Daren726's picture

MVS is one of the brightest spots on the team. I hope EQ can be just as good as he gets his chances. Won’t need Cobb after this year.

The TKstinator's picture

He’s taller and faster than all of the aforementioned receivers. He is proving to be assignment sure as well as sure-handed. He offers a plethora of gifts and abilities.
Another ”Gute Goody”.

flackcatcher's picture

To play the pro game a player must be available and accountable. MVS is both. His growth as a player during the season is impressive to say the least. "Gute Goody" indeed.

The TKstinator's picture

Same page brutha.
It ALSO seems like rookie WR’s adjust to the NFL quicker than they did in years past. Maybe all the passing in college? (Except the Badgers. They still ground and pound.)

cheesehead1's picture

Agree flackcatcher. Not so much for Kevin King. He needs to finally stay healthy. A big disappointment so far IMO.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Ok, TK, I will give you a thumbs up, but this was blatant.

The TKstinator's picture

Appreciated!

White _tornado's picture

What is the deal with Kevin (justin Harrell II) king anyway? Is it a groin this time or hamstring?

Rak47's picture

Report is it's a hamstring injury. I'm just happy it's not his shoulder again. Recurring injuries tend to end careers, so I' breath easily knowing it's not that. Hopefully his shoulder will get some rest and heal up with his hammy.

Since '61's picture

Given time MVS could evolve into a game break receiver.
It may be that we move MVS to the #1 WR is this offense and move Adams into the slot. I'm talking 2019 or beyond. Then find a legit #3 and real TE and we can have a potent offense again.

As of today our receiving corps does not scare anyone except for possibly MVS. Opponents are doubling Adams, Cobb and Graham are easily covered leaving MVS with one on one opportunities. It will take more time but MVS could become Rodgers go to guy.

We need players that the defense needs to game plan against. Hopefully MVS and Aaron Jones can become those type of players. Thanks, Since '61

The TKstinator's picture

Agreed, but I’d also like to see them fortify the living hell out of the offensive line.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

I wonder if Cole Madison will be in training camp.

Since '61's picture

TK - Yes, they definitely need to build up the OL. Bak and Linsley are fine but we need better guards and a solid replacement for Bulaga. Thanks, Since '61

The TKstinator's picture

Agreed.

cuervo's picture

"We need players that the defense needs to game plan against. Hopefully MVS and Aaron Jones can become those type of players."

Agreed...and once MM is gone, that may actually happen.

Since '61's picture

I'm not sure how replacing MM will give us better players. Thanks, Since '61

cuervo's picture

You mentioned game plan.....we have now and have had in the past players that the "game plan" doesn't take advantage of their skills. That's all on the coaching.

Since '61's picture

I mentioned game plan from the point of view of the opposing defense.
We currently do not have any players that our opponents defense are afraid of. It's not a matter of the Packers utilizing their skills it's a matter of our players are not that good. That's not on coaching.

If our opponents take away Adams we have Cobb too slow, Graham also slow and out of sync. MVS could be a play maker but he is not there yet.

Aaron Jones could be a game changer but he needs more carries but for that to happen we need to play with a lead. Thanks, Since '61

Rak47's picture

"As of today our receiving corps does not scare anyone except for possibly MVS. Opponents are doubling Adams, Cobb and Graham are easily covered leaving MVS with one on one opportunities." Sorry 61 but I strongly disagree. The fact that Davante and Graham are being double covered is proof that they are indeed feared and being accounted for by opposing defenses. And as of now Davante has 58rec 730yds and league leading 7 TD receptions while Graham has 32rec for 425yds and 3TD's. Both are putting up big number all while being double teamed, and the offense isn't even in sync as Rodgers is yet to hit his stride. Davante and Graham are two huge reasons why MVS is having the one on one matchups he's been getting, and winning. So yes they are feared and respected.

Since '61's picture

And yet we have trouble scoring, especially in the red zone. Where was Adams against the Pats? Graham has not been as effective as his hype or his contract. We need a Julio Jones or OBJ or Antonio Brown type of receiver. We have no one close.

The stats are nice but this team is not making plays when we need to make them. Our players are good playing at home against average or weak teams but we have yet to win on the road or against the better teams.

There is plenty of football left and this team will have their moments but I'm not sure it will be enough to reach the playoffs this season. Thanks, Since '61

Tundraboy's picture

Great points as usual. Would be great to see them add Lewis to the mix especially inside the 30.

RCPackerFan's picture

MVS may be the best rookie WR to play with Rodgers.

His speed has already earned respect of other teams. We are seeing a lot of CB's playing way off of him.

You can just see Rodgers trust in him more and more each and every week. He is throwing passes up letting him just go up and get it. Which he has done a tremendous job already.

There was a stretch in the 2nd half that MVS was nearly taking over the game.

I stand by my bold prediction that MVS will have a 200 yard receiving game this season.

Our duo of Adams and MVS are as good as anyone's duo.

The TKstinator's picture

James Jones said yesterday that it’s really not hard to learn the playbook. It’s during live action when the QB makes a hand signal to change the route or play that he found himself often going “huh?” That is exactly the kind of thing that drives 12 crazy; lack of mental preparation. He always says he can accept physical errors like dropped passes, but mental errors make him not trust a guy.

dobber's picture

It's as if he's saying, "if you do things that make YOU look bad, I can live with it. If you do things that make ME look bad? Not-so-much..."

The TKstinator's picture

Good point! Never thought of it like that.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

We want Kumerow!!!

LeotisHarris's picture

Doug, you have a Jeff Janis jersey in your closet, don't you.

Since '61's picture

Kumerow = Janis or Abbrederis 2.0. Thanks, Since '61

Den's picture

Hey Doug you must have read my mind. I know it was only preseason but Kumerow made some really amazing catches with defenders all over him. Janis and Abbrederis had potential, but I don't remember them consistently holding onto the ball under pressure like Kumerow did.

Tundraboy's picture

Great thread. Love you guys. CHTV at it's best.

PatrickGB's picture

Oh goody, he will be full go ready by next year. This year he will continue to learn and improve. While Cobb regresses and Aaron Jones waits to play.

pacman's picture

You can't teach speed!

If anything, even though AR has hit MVS deep, he has been slightly underthrowing it to him causing him to slow down to catch the ball and then get tackled.

You send Adams wide left, MVS wide right. Anyone who draws single coverage gets the ball. And if he doesn't seem to open quickly, that should leave plenty of space for a crossing Cobbs and/or Graham. And if there is still nobody open, AJ will be open out of the backfield. And that is without any tricky schemes. You hit them on the run or dump it off!!!

What I can't stand is to see on the play is when they show the receivers run the route while being covered, turn around and dance in place a bit until the play is done. Either head deep or run in.

nostradanus's picture

I will say this once again; this is a two-year rebuild. The Packers need to play the young players so next year they are ready to go and have been battle tested in the NFL. MVS-EQ-J Moore-A. Jones-J. Williams-Spriggs-Tonyan. These are all young players that are gaining valuable experience this year and they are all going to be a major core of this offense moving forward into 2019.

On defense it’s the same story another year under Mike Pettin and these young guys playing a major role this year have to take their lumps so that they can improve, gain experience and be ready to go going into 2019. Alexander-J.Jackson-J.Jones-Orin Burks-M.Adams All must play extensively during the second half of the season in order for the team to succeed moving forward into 2019, play the young guys let the chips fall.

The second half of the season is not a throw away by any means, but by all signs this is a two year rebuild that is known inside 1265 Lombardi Ave. but is not being made public of course.
They are never going to publicly say that.

Go Pack!

Dash Riprock's picture

Agree Nostradanus especially those receivers, Tonyan and Spriggs. Spriggs seems to be coming around a bit. I need to see more from him but he's not getting his ass kicked as much as he did the past two years. Keep playing him if Bulaga can't get back to 100% health.

Den's picture

Nostradanus, This all makes good sense!
MVS is going to be the long ball guy if Rodgers can anticipate his playing speed and get the ball out in front of him. EQ-B has to learn how to hang on to the ball.

Glad you mentioned Tonyan. I would rather see Tonyan get some playing time than rely totally on Graham. Tonyan may be an inexperienced TE, but he catches almost any ball thrown to him (including sloppy throws) and fights hard for YAC. So far, I can't say the same about Graham.

Handsback's picture

Gutsy had an outstanding draft. He got two difference makers in CB Alexander and WR MVS. Add to those two, EQ and Jackson that strengthens those positions for a few more years. Scott has shown what he's capable of, and will be a tremendous weapon as he gets more experience.

All that said, while MVS adds a potential deadly 2nd receiver to the team they are still going to struggle the rest of the season. MVS/EQ are rookies and while potential playmakers, are not always going to deliver in their rookie year. Green Bay has a LOFT problem and it's going to take at least one to two more drafts to fix it. The upside is they don't have to draft WRs/CBs in the first few rounds unless a diamond falls to them. They can concentrate on the trenches, safeties, and OLBs to get the Packers back into playoffs. It's not coaching, or Rodger's lack of production that's holding this team back. It is the lack of freaking talent (LOFT) that holds this team back. It's not something that can change with one player.
MVS, Adams, Jones, Rodgers, and maybe Graham can be very effective if they can surround them with better players. It just won't happen this year.

Johnblood27's picture

You lose all credibility when you say "Spriggs"

Kevin Carpenter's picture

For all of those who say this offense can't get down field, you should probably take a closer look. Rodgers is tied for 1st place with Mahomes with 11 passes of 40 or more yards. Only a couple of those were short/intermediate passes. Most are thrown deep. The offense reminds me a bit of 2011 when Philbin was last offensive coordinator. If Rodgers were able to connect even mor often, the offense would be praised for it's performance. Unfortunately that just hasn't been the case this year. But with the emergence of MVS that could all change and I have high hopes for this offense as it continues to grow.

EdsLaces's picture

It's crazy in just a few weeks how he has passed up Adams for the guy I get most excited about when he gets thrown the ball...

ILPackerBacker's picture

have to laugh "its a lack of talent" in an article touting MVS who is the second best WR on team

is it a lack of talent that kept him out until TWO injuries?

is it a lack of talent keeping Jones off the field in 3rd and 4th down and short?

is it a lack of talent that keeps forcing the ball to broken legged Cobb? No broken legged Cobb should be on IR, cut or returning punts.

lack of talent is a self defining term for someone who won't watch tape but wants to seem smart

Tarynfor12's picture

" lack of talent is a self defining term for someone who won't watch tape but wants to seem smart."

Yes, the I can read a stat sheet or bs rankings and know who must be good over those who actually are good via game tape.....HaHa is a perfect example....stats say yes but tape says no, and with stat sheet people willing to offer a new deal....whew...luckily somebody in the FO watches tape.

The TKstinator's picture

Is that “tape” Scotch? Or masking?
Or 8 track?
Or casette?
VHS?
Beta?

Lare's picture

I think Rodgers says he uses scotch.

The TKstinator's picture

Bingo!
Thank you for picking up the trail.

CAG123's picture

Well they’ve finally done it for the first time since 2005 (oh god) I’m actually not excited to see a Packers game or wanting to keep with it they had two prove it games on the road against formidable competition some of the best in league and they failed who really cares what they do against the middling Dolphins at home especially if it’s not a blowout. I can’t be the only one sick of nail biter victories and disappointing losses.

Since '61's picture

Well no one is forcing you to watch anything. However any loss is any sport is usually disappointing to a fan of the losing team. As for the nail biter victories those games create some of the best memories (speaking for myself) that I have in nearly 60 years of watching sports.

Take away an unfortunately badly timed fumble in both the Rams and Pats games and we probably have 2 victories instead of losses in those games.
Take out the atrocious roughing the passer call against the Vikings and the Packers could be 6-2 today and our conversations here are very different.

The difference between winning and losing in professional sports is often only a matter of a fraction of a second or a fraction of inch. The Packers have endured some tough and unusual losses this season but there is plenty of football left to play.

We may not make the playoffs but maybe the bounces and mistakes go our way over the next 8 games and we end up feeling much better about the team than we do today. One thing is certain, nothing is accomplished by giving up. Thanks, Since '61

CAG123's picture

Where is the notion that I will be forced to watch? If I said I’m not interested clearly I don’t care to watch this is what happens when you’re just replying just to reply. All that “they could be 6-2”crap is just that...crap the only thing that is important is what is and they are 3-4-1. It’s good to create those moments every now and then but who the hell wants nail biters every week? It’s good to flex your muscles as well and just beat on an opposing team 2 of their 3 wins are against the bottom feeders of the NFL at home. It wasn’t that long ago when they would smash you at home. You can keep focusing on what this teams record could be if you want.

CAG123's picture

Also I said I’m not interested in this game not the season it’s another home game against an average opponent which I expect them to win but that’s only after playing to the level of their opponent for 2 1/2 quarters.

The TKstinator's picture

Maybe what you’re not saying is louder than what you are saying.
Read between the lines.
Bleed between the pines.

“He who would be a man must be a non-conformist.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson

Since '61's picture

TK - brilliant as usual. Thanks, Since '61

Rick F's picture

MVS is the second best receiver not Cobb. He is a big play guy and Cobb is a shell of his former self. The young players are the future and it is the best move to play them and evaluate them. 18 53 getting paid a lot of money and not preforming is a insult to all packers fans.

Dash Riprock's picture

I can only recall two rookie receivers that were as good or better than MVS at the same points in time. They are James Lofton and Greg Jennings. By the end of the year MVS could possibly exceed them as rookies especially with Rodgers as his qb. I also agree with Since 61 on MVS possibly being the no. 1 receiver next year with Adams in the slot. MVS plays like a veteran you can trust. That's how Jennings was too. Favre trusted him. Hopefully J'Mon will get some opportunities now that Geronimo is out of the picture.

Since '61's picture

Dash - I like your comparison of MVS with Lofton and Jennings. I'm hoping he's more like Lofton than Jennings. Lofton is probably the best receiver the Packers have had since I have been watching them.

Lofton and Hutson are the only Packer receivers in the HOF.

If J'Mon can come on in the second half of this season we could have MVS as #1, Adams in the slot and J'Mon as the #3 for 2019. A dynamic TE and Jones in the backfield and we're good to go. Hopefully we solidify the right side of the OL as well. Thanks, Since '61

Dash Riprock's picture

Yeah Since 61, I mentioned it a few times now that past couple weeks. MVS physically and speed wise compares with James Lofton. He's tall, skinny and has that amazing long strides. Smooth catching the ball with his hands. All I see is James Lofton. Wouldn't it be nice?

I've been tough on J'Mon because of all his drops from Tim Boyle (who I really like) in the preseaon but I honestly like his potential. I like his more than ESB. I think you are dead on how this will probably play out. MVS, Adams and most likely J'Mon or ESB but I'll roll the dice and go with J'Mon as our 3. I think he'll "get it" by next season and suddenly Rodgers has youth and deadly speed at the receiver position. Something he has not had since 2010 when they won the super bowl with all those receivers in their prime. This year is exciting but next year is where it all comes together.

Tundraboy's picture

Lofton-like would be a dream. Sterling deserves to be in.

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