Can MVS get back to his best for the Packers in 2020?
Marquez Valdes-Scantling made an impressive start to the 2019 season but struggled in the second half. Will he be able to make a third-year jump in 2020?
The Green Bay Packers need their young wide receivers to contribute this year after not drafting a receiver in the offseason.
MVS has the potential to be a very good player. Can be become a big-play threat in Matt LaFleur’s offense?
Valdes-Scantling caught 26 passes for 452 yards. He had one 100-yard game, which came against the Oakland Raiders in Week 7.
MVS was considered a breakout candidate in the summer after a strong training camp. He was expected to be a deep threat with his speed and an ideal fit in LaFleur’s offense. Early on, that looked to be absolutely right.
The Packers struggled offensively in Week 1 against the Chicago Bears, but Valdes-Scantling made a key play to set up the only touchdown of the game. He got open deep downfield and made a 52-yard reception.
In Week 3 against the Denver Broncos, MVS caught six of his 10 targets for 99 yards and a touchdown. He then had a 133-yard, one-touchdown day against the Raiders.
But after making 22 catches for 420 yards and two touchdowns in Green Bay’s first eight games of the season, he managed just four catches for 32 yards in the final eight games. He was on pace for an 840-yard season after the first half, but instead struggled to make an impact. As a result, his snap counts decreased as the season went on.
Odds of making roster: 80 percent
Despite his struggles in the second half of last season, MVS still has a very good chance of making the roster. Not only did the Packers decide against making too many changes to their wide receiver corps, but they’ll also likely want to give Valdes-Scantling more time to develop.
What to expect in 2020?
Many great players have struggled in their first couple of seasons. Davante Adams is a perfect example. Adams had a promising rookie season but an awful second year, and fans were even calling for him to be cut after 2015. But it was in 2016 that Adams took a big step up and showed why he was a second-round pick.
Valdes-Scantling has shown potential throughout the past two seasons. Early in 2019, he showed he can be a target deep downfield and he has the speed to run past defenders to pick up additional yardage after the catch.
But he’ll need to produce more consistently and reach a level closer to the first half of last season than the second half. This could be a make-or-break year for Valdes-Scantling but he’s got the talent to bounce back.