Name: Marquez Valdes-Scantling
Position: Wide Receiver
Pro-Team: Green Bay Packers
College: South Florida
Draft Positions: Fifth Round, 174th Overall
- Height: 6’4”
- Weight: 206 pounds
- Hands: 10 1/4”
- Arm Length: 32 1/4”
- 40-Yard Dash: 4.37 seconds
- Vertical: 30.5”
- Broad Jump: 124”
- Bench Press: 15 Reps
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Valdes-Scantling possesses the potential to be the field-stretching wide receiver who the Packers had hoped Jeff Janis would become. At 6’4” with a sub-4.4-second 40-yard dash time, he clearly could be a big playmaker within the next few years if he continues to develop what he already excels at.
Valdes-Scantling ran the second fastest time amongst wide receivers at the NFL Combine. At 4.37, he was only .03 seconds behind D.J. Chark, the rookie leader of the position group. This performance from a player of his size should really excite dynasty owners. Valdes-Scantling is coming into an organization where he will have a few years to develop and harness his speed. In doing so, he will be able to utilize the raw quickness he carries in and out of his breaks leading to faster separation and even greater deep threat ability.
With his tremendous size and speed, combined with All-Pro quarterback Aaron Rodgers, he could be the next late round receiver of the Packers to jump into the spotlight and excel for years.
Often, our greatest weaknesses are actually our greatest strengths – just simply underdeveloped or overemphasized. In Valdes-Scantling’s case, it seems to be a little bit of both.
While he does display terrific speed and physicality, Valdes-Scantling has yet to translate his “open-field” speed into quick, explosive lateral elusiveness. This limits his ability to gain separation from cornerbacks as well as make him unable to stretch plays to the outside.
Right now he is deep ball target because of his speed, but in the NFL coaches will need to develop his route running abilities, and ball skills if he is going to make a difference at the next level.
Valdes-Scantling will get many opportunities to prove his worth to the Green Bay Packers. While many scouts projected him to fall somewhere in the late sixth to the seventh round of the draft, the Packers obviously saw something in the young receiver to jump on him in the fifth.
This tells me the coaching staff believes in him and will work tirelessly over the preseason to develop him into a playmaker who can be utilized with the expertise of Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers is Valdes-Scantling’s greatest opportunity, and should be able to place the ball in the areas where only his raw speed will be able to get him.
With the departure of Jordy Nelson, the Packers only return two true receivers who saw consistent playing time in 2017. Second-year receiver Trevor Davis and third-year wideout Geronimo Allison figure to fight for the third position on the depth chart, but both have been relatively unproven in their pure receiving abilities.
Valdes-Scantling could make a splash in fall training camp and would be a great weapon for the Packers to use this season on the outside of the field. Rumors are he has been working out with Randy Moss and working very hard to master the Packers playbook ahead of the preseason. I believe he will make an offensive impact in year one.
The only real threat to his role with the Packers is his own development as a professional. It could take a number of years before we see Valdes-Scantling come into his true form. Given what we have seen in his work ethic, it likely will not take that long.
Once he is able to harness the raw potential he holds and turn it into poised wideout athleticism, he will be a force to reckon with on many facets of the game.
Valdes-Scantling comes into a Packers organization that drafted wide receiver-heavy in the 2018 draft, which is not uncommon for Green Bay to do. Notable rookies J’Mon Moore and Equanimeous St. Brown will compete against him for the positions on the depth chart, with Moore being the fall training camp favorite this far. However, Valdes-Scantling’s potential and size should be the one thing that separates him from the competition.
Valdes-Scantling has the ability to make an impact in his rookie season with the Packers. However, I think it will take until his second year for him to truly break out. A year of development, coaching and consistent quarterback play should prepare him to step into a fantasy-relevant role for the 2019 season.
If he is able to stay ahead of his fellow rookie teammates on the depth chart, there should not be any reason that the Packers would not utilize him in the passing game early in the 2018 season. Rodgers has a history of targeting receivers who are trustworthy and dependable, so it will come down to how focused Valdes-Scantling is in his preparation.
In the long run, Valdes-Scantling could be one of the greats to come through the Packers organization. He comes in at a time where Rodgers will be around for the next five years, giving him plenty of time to develop and be targeted by one of the best to play the game.
I foresee the Packers really pouring into the development of the 23-year-old, and finding multiple areas on the field to get him the ball. Because of his size, speed and versatility, I think he will thrive in an offense that throws the ball deep once things break down in the pocket.
As stated, Valdes-Scantling is not even close to being the youngest in the 2018 rookie class, so his window of opportunity for relevant fantasy production will be much smaller than that of younger more developed receivers.
NFL Player Comparison
Valdes-Scantling does remind me quite a bit of one of the all-time greats, Randy Moss. However, given his age and lack of route running ability, I really see him comparing more to players like Will Fuller.
While Fuller certainly has carried a much higher draft capital than Valdes-Scantling, the two have a coveted set of skills that many NFL organizations are looking to utilize in the pass game. With quarterbacks who love to test the deep coverages of defenses, I could see Valdes-Scantling coming away with seasons of large touchdown totals and high percentages of yards per catch.
Projected Rookie Draft Range
According to DLF’s Rookie Draft ADP, Valdes-Scantling is currently the 16th rookie wide receiver going off the board, typically being drafted late in the second round of rookie drafts. Based on his immediate return, and potential, I certainly would not reach for him in the second round unless he is the best available. If you can catch him at the turn of the third round, snag him, otherwise find a way to acquire him as the season progresses.