Highlights of the article:
- New England Patriots wide receiver Jakobi Meyers has come a long way since his “cockroach” days
- An undrafted rookie in 2019, the North Carolina state product has played multiple roles in New England
- Meyers became a key player in the pursuit of the Patriots playoffs and the Mac Jones era
Looking back, perhaps the best thing that could have happened to New England Patriots wide receiver Jakobi Meyers went unselected in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Although he didn’t hear his name called nearly three springs ago, Meyers used his skills and work ethic to find a place on the Patriots roster at the end of the Tom Brady era. As rookie quarterback Mac Jones continues to show he is the perfect man to succeed Brady, he has received significant help in the form of a self-proclaimed former “cockroach.”
Jakobi Meyers has come a long way from his ‘cockroach’ days in the 2019 preseason
When Meyers first adjusted to the Patriots in the 2019 preseason, he wore the number 69, a number you wouldn’t normally associate with players of offensive talent. In fact, only offensive and defensive linemen are allowed to wear numbers in the 60s.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is used to giving players his stripes and numbers, and Meyers was no different. However, it didn’t take long for the rookie to prove himself, recording six catches for 69 yards and two touchdowns in his first game of the preseason.
Meyers finished his first preseason in the NFL leading all players in receptions (20) and receiving yards (253). In a recent interview with NBC Sports’ Peter King, the North Carolina state product explained how he and fellow receiver Gunner Olszewski, another undrafted rookie in 2019, made their way into the Patriots roster. and managed to stay.
“Me and Gunner were making jokes like we were cockroaches,” Meyers said. “No matter who they brought, we would find a way to stay alive.”
If Brady’s departure after the 2019 season marked a nuclear bomb drop at Foxborough, then the two who make it so far prove they are absoutely cockroaches. Trust us on that one.
Meyers has become a central part of the post-Tom Brady era of the Patriots
Meyers exemplifies everything Belichick wants in a player, no matter where he was drafted or how much money he makes in guaranteed money. The third-year receiver can line up for a pass, jump under center to play quarterback on a gimmicky game, and contribute to special teams if the Patriots need another body.
In the first 10 games of the 2021 season, Meyers made 50 catches for 483 yards. He caught two two-point conversions, completed his two 45-yard pass attempts and made a 7-yard punt return in Week 9. Since becoming a full-time starter in 2020, Meyers has 109 catches and 1,212 yards under his belt. . Not bad for a receiver who was not selected three years ago.
Meyers’ hard work finally paid off in a Week 10 rout against oft-criticized quarterback Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns. At the end of a 45-7 home win, Meyers took a short pass from substitute Brian Hoyer and turned it into his first career goal zone.
The third-year wide receiver needed 135 career catches in 39 games to finally make a count; the penalties had nullified several touchdowns he had landed since entering the league. About 15 to 20 Patriots players rushed to Meyers and celebrated with him in the end zone.
“It was the best part of the scoring,” Meyers told King. “We had the chance to celebrate together. It was worth it.
The emergence of Meyers is another testament to Bill Belichick’s roster management, both good and bad.
Patriots fans need to accept two important facts when discussing how important Meyers is to the six-time Super Bowl champions. On the one hand, he became a centerpiece of the post-Brady era and showed great chemistry with Jones, the 15th overall pick in this year’s draft.
However, Meyers’ success and his overall offensive role is another red mark on Belichick’s drafting as well. The legendary head coach infamously picked N’Keal Harry, who at this point is winning rave reviews for his blocks, over Ole Miss’s AJ Brown or South Carolina’s Deebo Samuel, in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Brown, who the Titans picked 19 picks after the Patriots added Harry, won Pro Bowl honors in 2020 and has 41 catches for 567 yards and three touchdowns in nine games this year. Samuel, the 36th overall selection two years ago, is on track to win All-Pro honors after totaling 54 catches, 979 yards and five touchdowns in the 49ers’ first nine games.
At least the Patriots are out of the 2019 offseason with Meyers. He’s scoring touchdowns, Jones is winning games and New England is 6-4 and ready to return to the playoffs. Let a cockroach make sure the Patriots rebuild doesn’t last for too much long.
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