Chiefs WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling was NFL’s fastest receiver in 2021

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If you’re worried about how the Kansas City Chiefs offense will stretch the field in 2021 without Tyreek Hill, look no further than WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling.

According to NFL Next Gen Stats, Valdes-Scantling was the 2nd-fastest ball-carrier in the NFL last season with a top speed of 22.09 mph on a 75-yard touchdown reception against the Minnesota Vikings. Valdes-Scantling, who ran the 40-yard dash in 4.37 seconds at the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine, aligned in a 3×1 formation in the slot on the play. He torched Vikings S Xavier Woods and tied the game at 31, though the Packers would go on to lose the contest.

Only Indianapolis Colts RB Jonathan Taylor recorded a faster top speed all season (22.13 mph) according to NFL Next Gen Stats. Valdes-Scantling’s 22.09 mph was also the fastest speed recorded by a receiver dating back to 2019 when Mecole Hardman’s 21.87 mph led all receivers. Valdes-Scantling’s top speed in 2021 was also faster than any speed recorded by Tyreek Hill that season. Hill only reached a top speed of 21.42 mph in 2021 per NFL Next Gen Stats.

There’s actually a lot of evidence that Valdes-Scantling can be the perfect replacement for the role Hill played in the Chiefs’ offense. Since his rookie campaign in 2018, Valdes-Scantling was clocked at 20-plus miles per hour 14 separate times as a ball carrier per Next Gen Stats. Hill is the only player in the NFL who was clocked at 20-plus mph with more frequency (45 times) during that span. The biggest difference is that Hill had more opportunity in the K.C. offense compared to Valdes-Scantling in Green Bay. Hill played over 750 more offensive snaps in that span to Valdes-Scantling, not including the snaps played in the playoffs.

Having earned Patrick Mahomes’ trust early in the offseason program, Valdes-Scantling should continue to be a speedy downfield threat in the Chiefs’ offense. With more opportunities, he could even exceed his previous best marks.

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