Jakobi Meyers

Patriots WR Jakobi Meyers reveals his goal entering 2020 NFL season

Patriots WR Jakobi Meyers reveals his goal entering 2020 NFL season

The New England Patriots need a young wide receiver to step and play at a higher level in 2020, and one of the best candidates is Jakobi Meyers.

Meyers went undrafted in 2019 out of North Carolina State and performed well enough in training camp and the preseason to earn a spot on the Patriots' 53-man roster. 

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What is Meyers hoping to accomplish in his second pro season?

"Mentally, I want to be levels ahead of where I was last year," Meyers told Patriots.com writer Paul Perillo. "Understanding not only what we're doing but also why we're doing it. Earning trust to make the right play. I want to build on last year. It was a nice stepping stone, but I want to keep building and growing."

Meyers knows his job is not guaranteed, and he's very motivated to prove to the Patriots that he again deserves a roster spot.

"I feel like I will be a lot further ahead," Meyers said. "I didn't know if I'd even make the team or what role I might have or where I'd be playing. I still have chip on my shoulder, like will I even be here? I'm staying ready for my name to be called. I need to make sure I give them a reason to keep me around."

For Meyers to take the next step, he must be more consistent.

The 23-year-old wideout had consecutive games with multiple receptions only twice as a rookie, and he tallied only one catch in five of the 11 games he played. Overall, Meyers totaled 26 receptions for 359 yards and zero touchdowns in 2019.

One reason to be confident in Meyers' ability to make a stronger impact in the Patriots offense next season is Jarrett Stidham. The 2019 fourth-round draft pick likely will be the team's starting quarterback following Tom Brady's departure in free agency, and he and Meyers had a good chemistry during the preseason. Of course, it's important not to take too much away from preseason action, but these two players built a strong rapport last August

Injuries to veteran wide receivers Julian Edelman and Mohamed Sanu played a large part in the Patriots' offensive struggles over the second half of the 2019 season. If Edelman and Sanu come back healthy, and a young wideout such as Meyers or N'Keal Harry make a sophomore leap, New England's offense has a chance to be surprisingly good in 2020.

Will Tom Brady's departure make these Patriots weapons better or worse in 2020?

Will Tom Brady's departure make these Patriots weapons better or worse in 2020?

Disappointing rookies and mostly underwhelming veterans marred the Patriots' offense last season.

So did having a pissy quarterback, injuries to the offensive line and no tight ends — but now the line is healed, the QB is gone and at least there are bodies at tight end. 

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So let's see where the arrow should realistically be pointing for the returning #weaponz. Will these individuals be better or worse in 2020? 

SONY MICHEL: BETTER

2019 stats: 247 carries, 912 yards (3.7 yards/carry), 7 TD

With major injuries at offensive line and fullback, Michel took a step backward in his second season. James Develin has since retired, but the offensive line is returning, including the surprise move of retaining Joe Thuney. 

DAMIEN HARRIS: BETTER

2019 stats: 2 games played, 4 carries, 12 yards

Boy, you'd have to think he'll be better, right? The 2019 third-round pick looked good in preseason, then played in only two games all season. His lack of usage was a season-long mystery, meaning either last year was some weird red-shirt year or the Patriots just think he stinks.

We'll find out, as five carries is all it will take for him to surpass his total from last season. 

JAMES WHITE: SAME

2019 stats: 67 carries, 263 yards (3.9 yards/carry), TD; 72 receptions, 645 yards, 5 TD

This is a coin toss. He'll be an awesome asset for Stidham, but Brady relied on him pretty heavily the last couple of years, so I can't see him being much better.

A repeat of his production in the receiving game would be fine, especially if Michel does more as a lead back. 

REX BURKHEAD: WORSE

2019 stats: 66 carries, 302 yards (4.6 yards/carry), 3 TD; 27 receptions, 279 yards 

The touchdowns weren't there, but last year was the best season yards-wise of Burkhead's Patriots career. He's a hard player to project because you don't know (a) Whether he'll be healthy or (b) Why the Patriots like him so much. 

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JULIAN EDELMAN: WORSE

2019 stats: 100 receptions, 1,117 yards, 6 TD

Tom Brady loved Julian Edelman. We don't know how a 33-year-old Edelman will click with Jarrett Stidham, but it's fair to assume he won't be fifth in the league in catches like he was last season. 

N'KEAL HARRY: BETTER

2019 stats: 7 games played, 7 receptions, 105 yards, 2 TD

Harry remains an unknown after missing the first half of the season and being a healthy scratch for a game once he came off IR. Missing part of training camp can really set a rookie back, so the question now is whether he gets any semblance of a regular camp in Year 2 given all that's going on with COVID-19. 

MOHAMED SANU: BETTER

2019 stats with NE: 8 games played, 26 receptions, 207 yards, TD

Sanu has been a pretty good receiver throughout his career. He was not that with the Patriots, even when you factor in that he was playing with a bad ankle. The hands weren't there, the blocking famously wasn't there on that jet sweep to N'Keal Harry against the Bills and overall his performance was not worth the steep price paid (the 55th overall pick, which the Falcons then traded for Hayden Hurst) for his services.  

All that is to say this: Sanu can't possibly be as bad as that, right? He's gotten surgery for that high ankle sprain and will be both healthy and better-adjusted to New England's offense. Unless the 30-year-old is just cooked, 600 yards should be a realistic mark. 

JAKOBI MEYERS: BETTER

2019 stats: 26 receptions, 359 yards

I'll be honest: I watched every Patriots game last season and do not remember him having 359 receiving yards. Anyway, we all saw that he and Stidham had a good rapport in the preseason, but that's the preseason. I think Meyers will be better because he's got a quarterback that trusts him.

If he can't improve given those circumstances, that could just about do it for the undrafted receiver. 

Tom Brady writes encouraging message on Jakobi Meyers' latest Instagram post

Tom Brady writes encouraging message on Jakobi Meyers' latest Instagram post

Tom Brady isn't the starting quarterback of the New England Patriots anymore, but that doesn't mean he won't keep an eye on his former team during the 2020 NFL season and beyond.

Patriots wide receiver Jakobi Meyers posted an Instagram photo late Monday night of him and teammate N'Keal Harry, and it caught Brady's attention. 

View this post on Instagram

Year 2 coming soon.....hopefully lol

A post shared by Jakobi Meyers (@kobi1116) on

Check out Brady's reply to Meyers' post in the photo below:

Brady and Meyers were teammates last season, which was the young wideout's rookie campaign. 

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Meyers was one of three undrafted free agents to earn a spot on New England's 53-man roster entering Week 1 of the 2019 season. He tallied 26 receptions for 359 yards and zero touchdowns in 15 games for the Patriots. His best game came against the Dallas Cowboys in November when he posted four catches for a season-high 74 yards in a 13-9 victory.

The Patriots will need Meyers and Harry to step up next season. Julian Edelman and Mohamed Sanu both battled through injuries late in 2019 and their production suffered as a result, particularly in the case of Sanu. Even if these veteran wideouts are healthy in 2020, the Patriots will need a third and fourth option in the passing attack, especially if the tight end position is again a weakness.