The New England Patriots had no other choice but to overhaul their pass-catching room this offseason given its lackluster performance over the last two years.
After adding Nelson Agholor, Kendrick Bourne, Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith, there should be someone open on virtually every play.
While the facelift was long overdue, it was in no way an indictment against Jakobi Meyers, who proved with a breakout year in 2020 that he should be a focal part of the passing game in 2021 and beyond.
Unfortunately for Meyers, the Patriots’ new investments at wide receiver and tight end will present him with a challenge to repeat as the team’s leading receiver.
When you consider, though, that Meyers is trying to emulate his game after Patriots legend Julian Edelman, you’ll realize he’s a safe bet to repeat said greatness.
Just listen to how often the wideout focused on his predecessor this week, and you’ll realize his head is entirely in the right place.
Patriots WR Jakobi Meyers is trying to embody Julian Edelman’s style of play.
While Edelman and Meyers bring different skills to the table, their respective journeys to the NFL, and the Patriots’ first team offense, are eerily similar.
Both players were quarterbacks in college (Meyers at NC State, Edelman at Kent. State) and rode the bench early waiting for a chance to make an impact.
If you remember, Edelman didn’t burst onto the scene until Wes Welker started struggling with injuries, and didn’t fully become a mainstay in the offense until 2013, when Welker signed with the Broncos in free agency.
The same can be said for Meyers, who played just 36% of the offensive snaps as a rookie in 2019 before becoming Cam Newton’s favorite target last season while Edelman was sidelined with a lingering knee injury.
It’s easy to see why Meyers and Edelman have such a strong bond. However, it appears they haven’t had much contact this summer. When asked if Edelman has reached out at all during the offseason, Meyers cracked a funny joke.
Come on, Jules! We know Meyers is mature beyond his years, but he could use some mentoring from a three-time champion and the fourth leading receiver (second in catches) in Patriots history!
In all seriousness, it’s awesome to see Meyers trying to follow in Edelman’s footsteps. While the 24-year-old doesn’t have the veteran magnetism of his former teammate, it’s clear he’s doing his best to lead by example on the field.
Based on these comments, you’d be hard-pressed to bet against Meyers having an even better season than the one he put together as a sophomore in 2020 despite having more competition for targets.