Patriots Mailbag: Does Jakobi Meyers Have No. 1 Wide Receiver Potential?

Can Jakobi Meyers emerge into a true No. 1 wide receiver?

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The New England Patriots still have one more game to play this season, but with the New Year comes an obvious opportunity to look toward the future.

The Patriots’ 2021 offseason will be a fascinating one with no obvious answer at quarterback, about $60 million in salary cap space and nearly as many holes on the roster.

The 2020 season? Not so fun. The 2021 offseason could be a blast, however.

It’s a New Year. Think positive, Frank.

Watch above and read below for this week’s mailbag.

@Thecolours
The rumor is Bill wants to hire Adam Gase as the next QB coach.

Do you think Bill wants Gase here because he believes Gase can “fix” Cam Newton?
I might have started this “rumor?” But I wouldn’t necessarily call it that. It’s more like informed speculation.

The puzzle pieces fit, though. After Gase got fired by the Miami Dolphins in 2019, Bill Belichick called him up to see what his plans were for the future. That was the same offseason the Patriots lost assistant quarterbacks coach Jerry Schuplinski and wide receivers coach Chad O’Shea to the Dolphins.

Gase took the New York Jets’ head coaching job. The Patriots added wide receivers to special teams coordinator Joe Judge’s responsibilities and hired Mick Lombardi as assistant quarterbacks coach. When Judge left to become the head coach of the New York Giants, Lombardi moved to wide receivers and the Patriots hired Jedd Fisch as quarterbacks coach.

Fisch is now gone, and Gase will likely come available after being fired this offseason. He could slot in pretty easily as the new quarterbacks coach. He still uses the Patriots’ Erhardt-Perkins “system” to communicate plays.

Gase coached under Josh McDaniels with the Denver Broncos. Belichick went out of his way to praise Gase this week while answering a question about Jets quarterback Sam Darnold, saying that, “I don?t think you could have anybody better coaching him.”

I know Patriots fans might not be very happy with the prospect of Gase coming into the building, but it’s not as if he’d be leading the team.

@jacksonhnter
What?s your ideal QB room come 2021?

@jacksonhnter
Realistic or not

Oh, realistic or not? For a unrealistic one, I guess I’d go with Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson and Justin Herbert. That would do.

As for a realistic one, how about Jimmy Garoppolo, Trey Lance and Jarrett Stidham?

I’m still interested to see how Garoppolo would look full time in the Patriots’ offense. He was great before getting injured in 2016. Lance would be the QB of the future, and if Garoppolo went down, they’d either have Stidham or the rookie to back him up.

There are a lot of good options at quarterback, though. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Matthew Stafford, Marcus Mariota, Jacoby Brissett, Sam Darnold, Carson Wentz or Cam Newton all could fill that veteran spot.

If the Patriots could somehow acquire Dak Prescott, that would be incredible for the franchsie. But it seems likely that the Dallas Cowboys would at least franchise him again this offseason, and I wonder how much the Patriots would give up in a trade to acquire him.

@max_leon1
After an ugly season, should we reevaluate Brady’s departure ? Did the Pats really let him go or did Brady just leave the house considering the situation was not good enough (while the Pats had no good plan B) ?

I personally don’t think Tom Brady was ever going to come back, and I’m not sure how much he would have helped the Patriots this season. Maybe they win two more games? They still might miss the playoffs in that scenario.

If Brady came back, the Patriots’ roster would have been even worse. They at least wouldn’t have been able to sign Joe Thuney, which would in turn weaken the offensive line.

We’ll see how the rebuild goes in New England, but I don’t think hitting the reset button this season was the worst thing to happen to the franchise.

@ayushrajgupta_
Who should the Pats re-sign and who should they let go of?

I’d make it a priority to re-sign center David Andrews and restricted free agent JC Jackson.

If they can somehow afford Thuney, that would be huge, too. But the two sides have been unable to reach an extension up to this point.

The rest depends on cost. The Patriots need money left over to upgrade their team at quarterback, wide receiver, tight end, defensive tackle, on the edge and at linebacker.

@pmtaylor832
What do you think of Cam Newton’s year with the
@Patriots?

I’d start with his contract. He made less than $4 million while even bottom-tier veteran starting quarterbacks make twice that amount or more.

I personally had higher expectations for the Patriots’ offense with Newton at quarterback. But maybe, given the cost to acquire him, that was unfair.

It wasn’t the greatest fit, and it seems like the two sides might be moving on from one another.

@ISB_Jay
Do you think Jakobi has what it takes to be a real number 1 WR

Most direct answer: no.

But who is his quarterback? Who are his teammates? Julian Edelman might not have been a “real No. 1” wide receiver with a quarterback other than Tom Brady and Edelman was the No. 1 wide receiver on three Super Bowl-winning teams.

It’s probably unfair to directly compare Meyers and a player like Edelman, but they share similar traits.

So, if the Patriots go with a similar offensive approach to the one they had from 2013 to 2019 and fill in the rest of the offense with a legit No. 1 tight end and a quality pass-catching running back, then yeah, Meyers could be the top wide receiver on a successful team.

He’s gained 37 percent of the Patriots’ receiving yards since Week 7, and that’s super high. He’s been a No. 1 wide receiver and more in the Patriots’ offense over the last 10 games.

But in an ideal world, Meyers would be the No. 2 or even No. 3 option.

That being said, he’s surpassed any expectations this season and has an incredibly bright future for an undrafted free agent.

Let’s go rapid fire.

@SenecaDavid1
Of the young QB?s around the league who have struggled with their teams (Wentz, Trubisky, etc), is there one that you think could be brought into New England that could successful? #MailDoug

I’m not sure if he’d be a fit in New England, but I kind of think people need to calm down about Wentz. I don’t think he’s an elite quarterback, but he had one bad season. Jalen Hurts has been pretty good, but I actually don’t think the Philadelphia Eagles should cut bait with Wentz.

@ayushrajgupta_
Who are the Pats likely to take with their first round pick?

I’ll have a better idea in April.

@APerry151
Re: Belichick on Stidham? my interpretation was that with the lack of any real weapons, can?t get an accurate assessment anyways. So, best to put him out there as little as possible. Thoughts?

To quote Belichick, “I think there would be some truth to that.”

@TMurph207
After QB – DL – WR and LB what’s the biggest need on the Patriots Roster ?
Will Edelman Be Traded in the off season ?
What was Olivia’s fav Christmas present ?
#Maildoug

— Tight end.

— I lean towards no.

— Either an Elliot the dragon or Care Bears stuffed animal.

By the way, I feel like half of my brain is now filled with Olivia’s stuffed animals’ names.

@Damon_Morris_
Are both McCourtys Patriots next year? I dont see Devin playing without Jason

I don’t think Jason McCourty leaving or retiring would preclude Devin McCourty from playing.

I also think it’s possible Jason could return.

@ChaoticChord
With both young TEs from last draft having fairly limited snaps this season due to injury and inexperience, do you see Bill going after a top (or slightly below) FA Tight End? Or is he more likely to grab a mid tier / draft another?

Unless he’s franchised again, which seems unlikely, I could definitely see the Patriots signing free-agent tight end Hunter Henry. That’s where I’d start. If that doesn’t happen, perhaps New England could sign a player like Jonnu Smith or draft a tight end.

@JamesBouressa
Does it make sense for Belichick to sign Dak Prescott in order to lock down QB for the rest of his time with New England? Does he really have enough time to find and develop someone who can take the team to the SB before he retires?

Absolutely, it makes sense to sign Prescott. But that would involve Prescott not being franchised or signed by the Cowboys long-term.

@Swagabara
If it came down to Kyle Pitts or DeVonta Smith, who would you want the Patriots to draft? #MailDoug

DeVonta Smith.

@Zac_Hagenberg
What do you think the O-line looks like next year? With onwenu being a pleasant surprise and Cannon most likely coming back do we see thuney leave?

My guess would be:

LT Isaiah Wynn
LG Michael Onwenu
C David Andrews
RG Shaq Mason
RT Undetermined

Cannon, Justin Herron and Jermaine Eluemunor are in the mix at right tackle.

@sebbehn
Pick a New Year’s day brunch treat : danish, croissant, fancy bread (specify), donut, other..#maildoug #dougsbuds

Always donuts.

@JulienDoucet1
Late question for you: from a reporters perspective, does the patriots missing the playoffs, having a really high pick and a ton of cap space actually make your job more fun as opposed to just writing about the bye week and who the patriots can pick at 32?

I’d say that I’d still probably prefer to be covering a playoff team. I get kind of restless immediately after the season is over, and I’d prefer a month less of the offseason. But it will be a really fun spring with so many questions to answer about the future.

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