The NFL Playoffs will continue on Saturday and once again, Detroit Lions fans will have to watch other teams compete for the Super Bowl.
The second matchup of the day begins at 8:15 EST and features the Green Bay Packers vs. the San Francisco 49ers.
LB DE’VONDRE CAMPBELL, GREEN BAY PACKERS
Campbell could well be the best value free-agent signing of the offseason. After long searching for a reliable off-ball linebacker, the Packers brought him aboard on a one-year, $2 million contract this offseason, and his 81.2 overall grade is second among linebackers through Week 13. Campbell’s 86.4 tackling grade is his fifth straight mark above 75.0, and that sure tackling goes a long way in Green Bay. He’s earned himself a nice raise — it’s just a matter of how nice it will be.
The hope for whatever teams sign Campbell is that he follows the Demario Davis career arc with his best football yet to come as he pushes towards 30 years old. He’s a difficult evaluation with All-Pro-caliber play in 2021 following five seasons with a PFF grade below 70.0 to start his career.
WR MARQUEZ VALDES-SCANTLING, GREEN BAY PACKERS
Valdes-Scantling hopes to be the next late-round pick/undrafted free agent speedster to cash in big in free agency, much like Tyrell Williams did with the Las Vegas Raiders and Robby Anderson did with the Carolina Panthers. Valdes-Scantling is every bit of 6-foot-5, and his 4.37 forty-yard dash translates to the gridiron, with his 18.3-yard average depth of target ranking third-highest among wide receivers over the past two seasons. Some drop issues and injuries have limited his production, but he’s improved his hands over time and has game-breaking ability on every snap when healthy.
If used as a complementary deep threat, Valdes-Scantling has a role on a receiving corps, especially one looking to add some juice on the outside. He may never be a high-volume chain mover, but Valdes-Scantling should be coveted as an option that can get behind the defense once or twice a game.
G LAKEN TOMLINSON, SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
Tomlinson has picked up where he left off in 2020, earning a second consecutive grade above 70.0. He has yet to allow a sack through Week 13 of the 2021 season. Tomlinson has surrendered a quarterback pressure on just 3.8% of pass-rush snaps, the 16th-best mark among guards with at least 200 snaps on the season. The former first-round pick of the Detroit Lions in 2015 may be in for a bigger deal this time around than his early extension signed in 2018 for three years, $16.5 million.
After a slow start to his career, Tomlinson developed into a high-end starter and his most recent work ranks him among the league’s best guards. He’s a valuable asset in the run game and a strong pass protector who has plenty of good football left as a starting guard.
DI D.J. JONES, SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
Jones has quietly turned in a campaign that could make him the most sought-after free-agent interior defensive lineman. The 49ers kept him on a one-year deal in 2021 after his rookie contract expired, and if it was a “prove it” situation, his career-high 74.8 overall grade certainly proved that he’s earned a stronger multi-year deal.
Jones hasn’t gotten a lot of attention, given the other players he has played alongside on San Francisco’s defensive line, but he’s positioned himself well entering 2022 free agency off a career year in 2021. He won’t add a ton of value as a pass-rusher, but Jones has been one of the better interior defensive linemen in the NFL at making impact plays against the run in recent seasons.