Matt Waldman’s Rookie Scouting Portfolio shares his RSP NFL Draft Scouting Report on Packers wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling, USF (6-4, 206)
Depth of Talent Score: 74.45 = Contributor: Starter execution in a limited role; diminishing returns beyond that scope.
Another strong candidate to emerge from rookie anonymity 2-3 years from now, Valdes-Scantling is a speedy receiver with the frame to add another 10-15 pounds and become that primary threat of classic dimensions that are missing at the top of this draft.
Valdes-Scantling is a 4.3-speed athlete with a team-first mentality. He hustles around the field without the ball as a blocker. On rub routes, he’ll ensure he’s picking off defenders for his teammate without drawing a penalty.
Valdes-Scantling has work to do in about every phase of his game. He has a rocker step, but he needs to develop some pacing variations with the move so it’s not predictable. His three-step release pattern and rip move are a good combo that’s effective for him. Even so, the rip doesn’t have the motion and violence that it could.
He explodes off the line of scrimmage into his stems He has quick turns with his breaks, and he’s good at looking back to the quarterback on his first break of a double move to bait defenders downhill so he can sprint past. He can improve his double moves with flatter and fuller break paths during the first move.
Valdes-Scantling can earn a full step on cornerbacks playing tight coverage if they don’t get a hand on him. He extends his arms well to the ball while in full stride and tracks the target over his shoulder. He’s not distracted by tight coverage or by a defender wrapping him a little early. When he can keep his back to the trailing coverage, he’ll control the pace without turning to face the ball, and it forces his opponents to play through him to reach the target.
Valdes-Scantling extends for low throws with good bend and reaches with underhand technique. He will slide on his knee to ensure he remains inbounds. Overall, his boundary awareness is strong and he’ll dot or drag his feet or legs along green grass as his momentum carries him to the sideline.
Although his hands are good, his selection of techniques based on the location of the target can be better. He’ll trap targets as a way of securing the ball instead of using a fingertips-first technique. He’s capable of catching the ball with his fingertips, but it needs to become the norm on most types of targets.
While not an immensely powerful player, the potential is there for him to become one. Terrell Owens came into the league as a much lighter player. While he played with more fight than Valdes- Scantling does in the open field, this rookie from South Florida plays with a good energy.
His effort in the open field as a blocker is notable. He’ll generate a push and stick to his man with tight position and then slide off to find another defender closing on the ball carrier.
He’s a raw prospect who appears malleable enough to develop into a better pro. He might make a special teams unit, but I expect him to find his way to a practice squad or futures list this year.
Pre-NFL Draft Fantasy Advice: Waiver wire for larger leagues with practice squads.
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