It’s time for Marquez Valdes-Scantling to step up. He’s shown flashes of excellence but needs to be more consistent. With top wide receiver Davante Adams hobbled by a hamstring injury, Valdes-Scantling will be stepping into the spotlight. The third-year Green Bay Packers wideout is confident, but more importantly, he has the confidence in quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling needs to take charge
All week, Green Bay Packers No. 1 wide receiver, Davante Adams, has been hampered by a hamstring injury suffered last week against the Detroit Lions. Adams is listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints. Adams’ injury is a blow to Green Bay’s already-thin wideout situation.
Third-year wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling is set to take over if Adams is out for any length of time. Valdes-Scantling, who began his college career at North Carolina State and then finished at South Florida, will likely be Aaron Rodgers’ big threat with Adams out.
Valdes-Scantling has always been in the shadow of Adams. He’s shown that he can make the big catch but hasn’t had many opportunities. The fifth-round draft pick in 2018 had his best season in his rookie year when he caught 38 passes for 581 yards and two touchdowns. Last season, his production dropped to 26 receptions for 452 yards and a pair of scores.
Packers content with their receivers
While most NFL fans believe the Green Bay Packers are thin at wide receiver even with Davante Adams healthy, the team apparently doesn’t. General manager Brian Gutekunst appeared to be satisfied with his wideout corps as he elected not to draft a wide receiver in the entire 2020 draft.
Back in training camp, quarterback Aaron Rodgers said Marquez Valdes-Scantling was the receiver he was the most impressed with. “I would say the receiver I’ve been most impressed with, especially the last week or 10 days of camp, is Marquez,” Rodgers said, according to NFL.com. “I think he has had some really good practices in a row and started to lay down some good practice fundamentals that he can lean on.”
At the time, Rodgers said Valdes-Scantling was gaining significant experience and was making the catches he needed to make. “Now he’s making the catches he’s expected to make, and he’s adding some extra plays in there where he’s doing some smart things and showing the growth, so I’m really proud of MVS,” Rodgers said.
Aaron Rodgers offers praise for Valdes-Scantling
Aaron Rodgers said the biggest obstacle in the way of Marquez Valdes-Scantling might be the pressure he puts on himself. He’s always wanting to make the big play and wants to win so badly. Rodgers is a big fan of the third-year receiver.
“I love Marquez. He’s such a good-hearted kid,” Rodgers said after the Week 1 win against the Minnesota Vikings. “I think he really adds a lot to our locker room, and he wants it so badly. I think that’s the only thing that gets in his way sometimes. He just wants to make those plays so badly.”
Valdes-Scantling had dropped a would-be touchdown in the game, but Rodgers went right back at his receiver. “He had a nice week of practice, and to be honest, it was never about, “I’ve got to go back to him after the drop,'” Rodgers said to the Wisconsin State Journal. “And that’s a tribute to him. I never thought twice about throwing him the ball down the seam or throwing him the go route at the end of the first half, and that’s a tribute to the way that he performed in training camp. Now he’s got to prove it every single week. We talked a lot about how consistency is the most important thing he needs to show. But I’m just really proud of him.”