It didn’t take long for “MVS” to develop a rapport with Patrick Mahomes and considering Tyreek Hill is gone, the ex-Packer might have the early lead in the ongoing battle to become the Chiefs’ new number one target at WR.
Having said that, one NFL analyst isn’t convinced Valdes-Scantling will live up to expectations. In fact, he believes he could end up being a disappointment.
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Can MVS Finally Reach His Potential in KC?
During an around the NFL article on Bleacher Report, Maurice Moton chose one player from every team that he felt may come up short and “disappoint” in 2022. To reiterate, MVS was his selection for KC.
“According to The Athletic’s Nate Taylor, quarterback Patrick Mahomes and Marquez Valdes-Scantling established some chemistry through spring practices,” Moton wrote, “which gives the team hope that head coach Andy Reid and offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy can still dial up successful big plays in the passing game. Through four seasons with the Green Bay Packers, Valdes-Scantling averaged 17.5 yards per catch and led the league in that category (20.9 yards per reception) for the 2020 season.”
Then came the bad: “On the flip side, Valdes-Scantling doesn’t have the most reliable hands. He’s finished two of his four campaigns with a catch rate below 48 percent and never recorded a rate above 53 percent. Valdes-Scantling played with a four-time league MVP in Aaron Rodgers, so we cannot point to a less than ideal quarterback situation for his inconsistencies. The wideout may run hot and cold with missed opportunities in the vertical passing game.”
Moton makes fair points, but there are a few reasons to be optimistic about MVS.
The 27-year-old (28 in October) has physical intangibles that you cannot teach — 6-foot-4 height, 79.375-inch wingspan, 4.37-second 40-yard dash. He’s also never been targeted more than 73 times during a season (average of 61.75 targets per year).
By comparison, Mahomes targeted Hill 159 times in 2021 and 135 times the campaign before. Valdes-Scantling must improve his catch percentage, no doubt, but the potential is there for him to outperform his $4.88 million cap hit in 2022.
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Most Likely to Lead Chiefs in Receiving Yards
Although Travis Kelce is probably the odds-on favorite to lead the franchise in receiving yards this season, the number two spot is up for grabs. It will most likely be a wide receiver that does it, but which one will it be?
Right now, it’s hard to argue that Valdes-Scantling isn’t the favorite. JuJu Smith-Schuster does more work in the intermediate passing game and if the deep ball is connecting, MVS could triple his yardage per game with one or two catches.
Of course, Mecole Hardman also profiles as a player that can run the deep pattern while rookie Skyy Moore could excel underneath. We aren’t talking about which WR will have the most catches or targets though, we’re talking about yards, and it will be interesting to see who steps up to the plate during a wide-open competition.
The wildcard will be the fifth or sixth pass-catcher that emerges this spring — Josh Gordon? Justyn Ross? Justin Watson? Corey Coleman?
The depth is there, now Mahomes just needs to figure out who he can rely on. Expectations should be tempered on every single one of these individual players but together, this offense could be very hard to stop.