How Marquez Valdes-Scantling Can Factor Into the Heated Patrick Mahomes vs. Aaron Rodgers Debate

Marquez Valdes-Scantling has more than just the “turbo button” in his offensive bag, and he’s hoping to prove that now that he’s with a new team, the Kansas City Chiefs, and a new quarterback, Patrick Mahomes

His days catching passes from Aaron Rodgers are behind him, and the wideout who became best known as MVS with the Green Bay Packers is hoping that the new quarterback and new scheme can help him reached heights he never could before.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling should be a nice deep threat for the Kansas City Chiefs

Marquez Valdes-Scantling is now with the Kansas City Chiefs
Wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling #83 of the Green Bay Packers rushes down field against the Kansas City Chiefs | Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images

MVS isn’t going to be able to replace Tyreek Hill for the Chiefs. That’s what the five draft picks (including a 2022 first-rounder) were for. 

Yes, MVS is a fast wide receiver who’s known for his ability to haul in the deep ball, but he’s far from the player Hill had become with Mahomes in Kansas City. You don’t replace a three-time All-Pro and six-time Pro Bowler with a guy whose biggest year of production was 690 yards and six touchdowns playing with an MVP quarterback in Rodgers. The Chiefs have at least replaced some of the speed and big-play ability they lost when they traded Hill to the Miami Dolphins, though.

For instance, Hill has averaged 13.8 yards per reception through six NFL seasons. The longest reception of his career was 78.9 yards.

MVS has been far less productive, but he can be a valuable deep threat when he’s healthy and locked in. He’s averaged 17.5 yards per reception over four seasons in Green Bay and the longest catch of his career has been 78 yards.

“I think that with the departure of him [Hill], it gave me a really good opportunity to be in position to come in and be an immediate impact right away,” Valdes-Scantling said according to The Kansas City Star.

The 6-foot-4, 204-pound wideout admitted that being able to take over for Hill, in a sense, is why he chose Kansas City despite offers from the New Orleans Saints and the Packers.

“That was a huge factor into it,” he said.

MVS can factor into the Patrick Mahomes vs. Aaron Rodgers debate

Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers
Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers shake hands with Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs. Marquez Valdes-Scantling has gone from one quarterback to the other now. | Quinn Harris/Getty Images

Tom Brady is considered the GOAT quarterback. If he wasn’t before the left the New England Patriots with six rings, he sealed the deal when he snagged his seventh Lomabardi Trophy in his very first season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

There’s always a ton of debate about who the next best quarterback can be, and Rodgers more than often finds himself in that conversation. With four MVP’s to his name, including two straight in the last two seasons, he seems to have a good case for himself and he doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon.

Rodgers was considered the most talented quarterback in the NFL for the longest time before Mahomes broke onto the scene in Kansas City.

Instead of Rodgers making the highlight reels for an incredible throw on the run while under pressure, it was the younger and flashier Mahomes getting the views. Rodgers has been a magician over his years with his ability to throw the no-look-pass, but lately, it’s been Mahomes who seems to be more known for his trickery yet total execution as an elite quarterback.

There’s some recency bias at play because while both do have just one Super Bowl win to their respective names, Rodgers won his over 10 years ago in Super Bowl 45 while Mahomes lifted the Lombardi just a few seasons ago in Super Bowl 54.

Both players still have a long ways to go to catch Brady, but at least for the foreseeable future, we’ll be able to see what MVS can do with Mahomes compared to what he was able to do with Rodgers.

To be fair to Rodgers, the comparison will be a bit skewed.

Rodgers had to learn to build chemistry with MVS as a rookie fresh out of USF. It’s also not as if Valdes-Scantling was a top draft pick that the four-time MVP just struggled to connect with. MVS was a fifth round pick by the Packers in 2018 and Valdes-Scantling has had his fair share of drops and inconsistencies along the way.

While Hill was a fifth-round pick himself, he quickly became a superstar in the league not just because of his speed, but because of his ability to make big plays when the Chiefs needed him to.

MVS has shown flashes, like his four-catch, 115-yard and one touchdown performance against the Buccaneers in the 2020 NFC Championship, but his ability to be more than just a straight-line speed guy down the field has been somewhat limited. 

Some of it has been the drops and his inability to get more out of his game. Some of it has been injuries. 

Some of it may even fall on Rodgers, who notably struggled to sync up with MVS at times, especially this last season.

No matter what it was, Valdes-Scantling is hoping that he can break out of that mold and become a well-rounded receiver for Mahomes and the Chiefs.

“Obviously, I’ve been a top deep threat in the league for the four years in my career. Those stats speak for themselves, but (I’m) also not limited to just that, at the end of the day,” he said. “Coach (Andy) Reid does a really good job of getting his playmakers the ball. I think with having Pat (Mahomes) under center and Coach Reid calling those plays, I think I fit right in.”

If Mahomes can help turn MVS into the receiver he never could become with Rodgers and the Packers, the Chiefs may not miss the presence of Hill as much as it initially looks like they will. 

Stats courtesy of ESPN and Pro Football Reference. Contract information via Spotrac

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