I’m sure there are 31 other NFL teams kicking themselves that they didn’t take a shot on Jakobi Meyers back in April but REALLY kicking themselves that he’s now with the Patriots; the undrafted free agent factory.
Meyers is looking like a lock to make the team’s initial 53-man roster after shining once again on Thursday night (not playing in the second half is a good sign). Meyers would keep the streak going of sixteen straight years an undrafted free agent has made the team out of camp, J.C. Jackson and Adam Butler are the most notable from the past few years.
Meyers hauled in six catches for 69 yards and two touchdowns in his first pre-season game getting open all over the field no matter who was throwing him the ball.
“I have to keep proving to my coaches that I deserve to be here. I’m not on the team yet. I’m trying to make sure I can stay here and continue to be here. That’s who I’m trying to prove a point to, not really to the people who didn’t give me the call”, Meyers said after the game on Thursday night.
Meyers never had it easy, though. The undrafted free agent came into N.C. State as a two-star quarterback recruit before converting to wide receiver. He redshirted his freshman year after suffering a knee injury while former Patriots passer Jacoby Brissett led the team and was ultimately drafted by New England after that season.
The following year, as a redshirt freshman, Meyers was in a battle for the starting quarterback job until a week before the season opener against William & Mary. At that point, head coach David Doeren asked him to switch to receiver where he would then excel. However, it didn’t happen overnight.
Meyers took the Patriot-like approach to the switch and embraced the opportunity. He appeared in all thirteen games that season as a redshirt freshman and caught 13 passes. The following year, Meyers took a huge step forward as he finished with 63 receptions for 757 yards and five touchdowns while earning the team’s “Most Improved Player” awarded by his teammates.
Headed into his redshirt junior year, Meyers racked up a program-best 92 receptions (passing Torry Holt’s single season record) for 1,047 yards, ranking in the top ten in all of college football, and four touchdowns.
Usually that type of improvement and performance is good enough to get your name called at the NFL Draft, but once again, Meyers was doubted being told he would be too slow after running a 4.63 40 time at the combine, the second slowest at his position.
Meyers was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Patriots this spring and has been making play after play and working his way into getting first-team reps with Tom Brady and the rest of the offense in training camps.
Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan, Danny Amendola — the list goes on, but they all had different stories to how they got to be a critical piece in the Patritos offense. However, they all made the most of their opportunity and ran with it, and that’s exactly what Jakobi Meyers is trying to continue to do.