It’s easy to overreact to some of the things happening during the NFL’s organized team activities (OTAs), as the players aren’t wearing full pads and practices are typically advantageous to the offensive players. But when a player consistently stands out at those practices, it’s worth noting.
This is the case for Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling, who stood out during the first week of OTAs and has continued to do so due to his already-strong connection with quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
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“I’ve been raving, and I will continue to rave: No new #Chiefs pass-catcher looks more comfortable with Mahomes than WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling,” wrote Pete Sweeney of Arrowhead Pride on June 9 after Kansas City’s last set of OTAs. “The new QB-WR duo is so in sync. MVS is as smooth a receiver as I remember. The two combined for Thursday’s play of the day.”
Sweeney provided further details about how Valdes-Scantling stood out during the last day of voluntary practice.
“In team, [Patrick] Mahomes looked to his right and threw a no-look pass across his body to his left to Valdes-Scantling, who caught the ball with his single left hand along the left sideline,” Sweeney wrote. “MVS joked after that he is used to no-look passes from his time with Aaron Rodgers (2018-21).”
MVS’s Work With Mahomes During Offseason Paying Off
During the earlier part of the offseason, Mahomes met with some of his pass-catchers down in Texas to build chemistry with each of them prior to the Chiefs meeting for practices. That has seemingly paid off, as players like Valdes-Scantling have hit the ground running during their first offseason in Kansas City.
“It wasn’t even a month before he was already dialed into the playbook and understanding what was going on,” Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire said after OTAs on June 9 of Valdes-Scantling.
“He’s a big kid, but he’s got really good flexibility,” head coach Andy Reid said of Valdes-Scantling after Phase 3 of OTAs. “He can change directions and he’s got that speed, which we all knew he had. He’s able to work some of the primary underneath routes that he maybe didn’t do quite as much in Green Bay because of who they had there. I’ve been pleased with how he goes about his business. He’s doing a nice job.”
MVS Took ‘a Lot’ Away from Davante Adams
During his four seasons with the Green Bay Packers, Valdes-Scantling was in a receiver room with Davante Adams, a two-time All-Pro and five-time Pro Bowler. Having a player of his talent level in the same building is something Valdes-Scantling utilized as an opportunity to learn and grow.
“Between [Davante Adams] and Randall Cobb — my four years in Green Bay, I learned so much from those guys. They were the epitome of what you want for a veteran leader on and off the field,” Valdes-Scantling said on June 9 during his press conference.
Despite Adams now being on the Las Vegas Raiders, a divisional-rival team within the AFC West, Valdes-Scantling said the two keep in regular contact and he continues to learn from one of the league’s top receivers.
“I talk to Davante regularly,” Valdes-Scantling explained. “I just talked to him [Wednesday]. We send clips back and forth to each other. Like, ‘Hey, what could I have done here?’ or, ‘Show me something that you did in practice that I liked.’ That’s one of my closest friends. We still talk regularly. I think that he’s going to be great. I get to see him twice a year, so that’s going to be fun as well. He’s one of those guys that you can’t really replicate — he’s a one-of-a-kind talent — but he’ll teach you everything that he can teach you.
“And I think that’s a great thing — and I definitely want to be able to teach the younger guys underneath me the same things that I was taught.”