The Patriots entered training camp this summer with great uncertainty surrounding their wide receiver depth chart. There’s still work to be done, but thanks to an unlikely source, the picture has become a bit clearer.
Undrafted rookie Jakobi Meyers has turned heads from the get-go at spring/summer practices. His work in OTAs and training camp has translated to preseason games, as the North Carolina State product has collected a combined 12 catches for 151 yards with two touchdowns through New England’s first two exhibition contests. Meyers is playing his way onto the Patriots’ 53-man roster, and ESPN’s Mike Reiss believes the 22-year-old has been the team’s MVP of the summer.
“Undrafted out of NC State, he is a strong candidate to not only make the roster, but also to carve out a role for himself,” Reiss wrote in a piece published Monday. “No receiver caught more passes in training camp, and he exploded onto the scene in the first preseason game with 6 catches for 69 yards and 2 TDs. ‘He’s done a great job and he’s taken advantage of his opportunities,’ quarterback Tom Brady said. ‘I think that’s really what we try to stress to anybody — the football doesn’t care how old you are, whether you were drafted or not. The football doesn’t care how much experience you have. It just knows that when I let that ball go, it’s got to be in the hands of the guy who it’s intended for.’ ”
The Patriots have a history of seeing undrafted rookies become household names in Foxboro. Malcolm Butler forever will live in New England lore, David Andrews is as sure-handed as they come and J.C. Jackson is on pace to reach superstar status. Should Meyers continue his upward trajectory and bolster his chemistry with Brady, it might not be long until he’s included among this unique group.
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