In a day 3 that saw the Packers with eight picks, many needs still had to be addressed. With receiver being a major one of those, after taking J’Mon Moore in the fourth round the Packers continued snatching receivers taking Marquez Valdes-Scantling from South Florida. A lot like Moore, Valdes-Scantling is a physical specimen who stands 6-4, weighs 206 pounds and can run a 4.37 40-yard dash. Gutekunst hopes that those physical gifts can be an asset to Aaron Rodgers and the passing game.
With the height, weight, speed of Valdes-Scantling, the deep ball comes to mind. Those traits can’t be coached so where the Packers picked him, he’s perfect project, developmental guy. Along with the speed, he’s great at pushing off the line of scrimmage to build momentum for downfield routes and with his long strides, he easily overtakes opposing defensive backs. 26 percent of passes he saw were deep balls so he already knows and has experience as the type of player he can contribute most as. Lastly, watching film, his lack of production can easily be attributed to poor deep passes by his quarterback, which prevented him from grabbing easy touchdowns that he was wide open for downfield.
A big reason why he’s a project and development player is because he’s a poor route runner who tends to lack consistency and gives away stop routes prematurely. He likes to catch with his body a lot and that’s because he fails to take advantage of his size to gain position and his hands are small for his size. Valdes-Scantling told the media after he was drafted that he has to improve his mental approach to the game but he wants to compete for a job and make an impact after learning from older vets.
Fit on the Packers:
A former NFL Pro Bowl receiver said, “His issues look coachable to me. You don’t know what he was being taught, but he’s big and can run so you take that and then just get those routes right.” He’s a work in progress and will need the right development and coaching to see time on the field but with Aaron Rodgers and the Packers coaching staff who are good at developing those type of guys, he’s on the right track. The Packers need receivers, especially ones who are athletically gifted, so we could very well see Moore and Valdes-Scathling on the field in the next year or two. With those athletic gifts, along with Aaron Rodgers being the quarterback throwing, it’s hard for any receiver to not fit and once he has the mental tools, he could be a serious deep-threat for the Packers in the coming years.