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 Post subject: The continued improvement of Marquez Valdes-Scantling
PostPosted: 08 Aug 2019, 08:30 
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Joined: 24 Apr 2019, 09:49
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and Equanimeous St. Brown is among the most important factors in the Packers’ offense in 2019." />Skip to main contentclockmenumore-arrownoyesHorizontal - WhiteAcme Packing Companya Green Bay Packers communityLog In or Sign UpLog InSign UpFanpostsFanshotsSectionsPackersOddsAboutMastheadCommunity GuidelinesStubHubMoreAll 322 blogs on Horizontal - WhiteFanposts Fanshots Sections The APC PodcastPackers Film RoomFantasy Football Advicesecond-year WR duo New ,7commentsThe continued improvement of Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown is among the most important factors in the Packers’ offense in 2019.CDTShareTweetShareShare2019 Packers 90-man ranking, 25-21: More consistency needed from second-year WR duo Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY SportsWith veteran free agency essentially concluded and the 2019 NFL Draft in the rear view mirror, Acme Packing Company will once again rank and break down the Green Bay Packers’ 90-man roster.Today’s rankings move forward to 25-21, headlined by two second-year receivers looking to build off of up-and-down rookie seasons, as well as an edge rusher that surprised many with a double-digit sack campaign.T-25: Elgton Jenkins, OLGreen Bay made Jenkins its second-round pick of the 2019 NFL Draft and he was announced as a guard during the selection. Entrenched as Mississippi State’s starting center for his final 32 games in Starkville, Jenkins should quickly become the Packers’ top backup option at center behind Corey Linsley but figures to get his first pro reps at guard. Hard work and toughness helped Jenkins go from a passed-over recruit to early-round selection, and those intangibles along with his size and athleticism should lead to a long career.Although the Packers signed Billy Turner to a lucrative free agent contract, Jenkins will have an opportunity to immediately battle for a starting spot at right guard in his first season. Even if he does not earn that role, Jenkins should bring the versatility to fill in almost anywhere on the offensive line after making starts at tackle, guard, and center during his college career for the Bulldogs.T-25: Jamaal Williams, RBOver his first two seasons in the league, Williams has had games like the one he had in New York last year when he rushed for 95 yards and added 61 yards as a receiver. And then there are others in which Williams has produced results much closer to his 3.7-yard career average per attempt. He’s probably somewhere in the middle of those extremes as a quality change-of-pace back for this Packers team.Williams’ biggest asset to Green Bay is his third-down ability. The Packers’ best pass-blocking back, Williams has also been a fairly reliable pass-catcher out of the backfield. He will get a boost in competition from the arrival of another Williams, Dexter, to the Packers’ backfield, but Jamaal should continue to be used in the third-down role. Even as a complementary piece to Aaron Jones, Williams should increase his touches in 2019 with a focus on the running game and Jones’ struggles to stay healthy over 16 games.24. Kyler Fackrell, OLBA team-high 10.5 sacks raised some eyebrows among the Packer faithful in 2019 as Fackrell put together his most complete season as a pro. Fackrell registered three-sack performances against both Buffalo and Seattle last season and was much better as an edge-setter in the running game , though he still must become more consistent in that area. Appearing in all 16 games, Fackrell had a clean bill of health for a second consecutive season and played more like his former third-round pick status with Nick Perry limited by injuries.Green Bay spent unprecedented money in free agency to improve its edge rushers and that will directly impact Fackrell’s playing time in 2019. Add Rashan Gary into the mix and Fackrell figures to settle into a role as a depth pass rusher. Fackrell may not be every Packer fan’s favorite player, but having a third or fourth pass rushing option who is coming off a double-digit sack year is not a bad position for the Packers’ defense to be in.23. Lane Taylor, OLA 14-game starter last season, Taylor anchored down the left guard position while the right side was in flux. However, he earned just an “average” grade from Pro Football Focus during the 2018 season and will have increased competition from the incoming Turner and Jenkins. In Matt LaFleur’s offense, linemen need to be athletic and able to move. Taylor would appear to be more limited than the other two competitors, but brings more experience.While Taylor may not be an All-Pro caliber guard, he remains a steady starter on reasonable contracts over the next couple of seasons. With the right guard position in line for a new starting face in 2019, continuity could prove effective at the left guard spot. Still, the selection of Jenkins in particular should provide Taylor and the Packers with some much-needed training camp battles across the interior of the line.22. Marquez Valdes-Scantling, WROne of three wide receiver draft selections as a fifth-round pick in 2018, Valdes-Scantling was the quickest to emerge as a rookie. In the first nine games of the season, MVS reached 100 yards receiving twice, while posting two games of at least six catches. Whether it was the rookie wall or a factor on the field, Valdes-Scantling only caught 14 passes for 179 yards over the second half of the season.With a 4.37-second 40-yard dash at 6-foot-4, MVS has natural tools to work with that few are born with. When the Packers drafted him, they knew they were getting a project to develop. Yet, Valdes-Scantling’s early playing time and production came much quicker than many expected and his growth in year two will be watched closely. He has the ability to become the team’s best vertical threat if he can win 50-50 balls with more frequency, and his route-running and ability to get open in space will be the key in earning Aaron Rodgers’ trust.21. Equanimeous St. Brown , WRUnlike Valdes-Scantling, St Brown’s rookie season started very slowly. Green Bay’s sixth-round pick was inactive for games two through four before posting three catches for 89 yards in week five. Those reception and yards totals would be St. Brown’s season-highs until a five-catch, 94-yard breakout in week 15 against the New York Jets. Although St. Brown did not reach the end zone in his first season in Green Bay, his route-running and hands stood out in the final stretch.In 2019, St. Brown will join Valdes-Scantling in trying to become a key contributor for the Packers’ offense. Without an external addition in the offseason, Green Bay’s biggest improvements at wide receiver will have to come from within. St. Brown was a weapon as a crosser over the middle at Notre Dame and, without a true slot receiver on the roster, the Packers could look to pair him with Geronimo Allison as an inside receiver. Though the numbers may not show it, St. Brown’s talent and consistency rose as the 2018 season progressed and each was an encouraging sign for the upcoming season. LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — Clinch the NFC North championship and beat a heated rival to do it? The Chicago Bears couldn’t have asked for a sweeter scenario.That’s exactly the opportunity they’re staring at when they host Aaron Rodgers and the fading Green Bay Packers on Sunday afternoon.“It would be very exciting,” quarterback Mitchell Trubisky said. “We know this is a big week for us, and a lot comes with it.”Article continues below ...With six wins in the past seven games, the division championship and a playoff spot are just about in hand.A win over the Packers (5-7-1) would clinch the North for the Bears (9-4). So would a loss by Minnesota to Miami. And ties by both the Bears and the Vikings would do the trick, too.Even if they don’t clinch the division, they could still secure a playoff spot on Sunday. In that case, a tie against Green Bay — or a tie or loss by Washington against Jacksonville — would send Chicago to the playoffs for the first time since the 2010 team won the NFC North.Of course, with a victory comes this added bonus: beating Green Bay. It would also give the Bears a measure of revenge for that season-opening gut punch at Lambeau Field, when Rodgers got carted off the field with a left knee injury and came back to lead the Packers from 20 down to a 24-23 victory.“It’s a special moment in my career,” Rodgers said. “It is the Bears, and the injury I was dealing with and the pain and 20-0 and coming back and winning that game. It seems a long time ago , standing here in Week 15, but that was a good moment for us. It’s a better moment when you parlay those into big-time winning seasons and championship runs, but it was a special moment for sure.”The teams’ fortunes sure have changed since.The Bears have emerged as a force in the NFC in their first season under coach Matt Nagy after four straight last-place finishes. The Packers fired Mike McCarthy in his 13th season two weeks ago and made offensive coordinator Joe Philbin the interim head coach, hoping to jolt a team in danger of missing the playoffs for the second straight year.The Packers won his debut , beating the Atlanta Falcons 34-20. The Bears beat the NFC West champion Los Angeles Rams 15-6 last week, with their defense squashing one of the NFL’s most prolific offenses.Here are some things to know with Chicago on the verge of securing a playoff spot and Green Bay’s hopes fading:STREAK VS. STRENGTHIt’s a case of a streak vs. strength when Rodgers faces Chicago’s turnover-happy defense. The Bears are first in the NFL in turnover margin at plus-13. Rodgers hasn’t thrown a pick since Week 4, when his pass over the middle for Jimmy Graham was deflected twice before being intercepted by Bills safety Jordan Poyer on second-and-4 from the Packers 49. It’s the only interception this season for Rodgers. Since then he’s had 368 straight attempts without an interception to set an NFL record.“Yeah, you know hopefully it stays that way,” Philbin said as he knocked on a wooden podium for good luck. The Packers are plus-2 in turnover margin, tied for 14th in the league.ROAD WOESWith an 0-6 road record and eight straight losses dating to last season, the Packers sure have experienced difficulties away from Lambeau Field. That’s something they hope to change against Chicago.The Packers have won nine of the past 10 meetings overall. They also have an eight-game winning streak at Soldier Field, counting the postseason.COMFORT AT HOMEWhile the Packers have struggled on the road, the Bears are 6-1 at Soldier Field.That gives them their highest win total at home since going 6-2 in 2008. And if they beat Green Bay, the Bears would finish 7-1 at home for the first time since 2005.Also, Nagy’s nine victories are the most by a coach in his first season with the Bears since Paddy Driscoll led the 1956 team to a 9-2-1 mark.TURNOVER TIMESpeaking of turnovers, the Packers’ defense has been hit or miss when it comes to takeaways. Cornerback Bashaud Breeland accounted for both of Green Bay’s takeaways last week with an interception return for a touchdown and fumble recovery, though the latter came on a botched shotgun snap. Still, the win over the Falcons ended a two-week stretch without a takeaway.OFFENSIVE OUTPUTThe Bears would certainly welcome a better showing from Trubisky. He struggled against Los Angeles after missing back-to-back games because of a right shoulder injury, with a season-high three interceptions and a 33.3 rating that was his lowest of the year.One positive for the Bears’ offense: Jordan Howard running for a season-high 101 yards.


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