Jakobi Meyers’ initial ascension came at a weird time for the New England Patriots.
Think about it. It was 2020 and Meyers was coming off a season where he caught just 26 passes as an undrafted free agent rookie. Tom Brady had just departed the Patriots, with Cam Newton being brought in to fill in at quarterback. Julian Edelman was still expected to be the top option in the slot and N’Keal Harry was entering his all-important second season as a former first-round pick.
Then Meyers just straight up became New England’s best wide receiver.
In his second season, Meyers caught 59 catches for 729 yards as Newton’s top target. Edelman got hurt. Harry continued his struggled. But Meyers, he exploded and never looked back, all thanks to his new quarterback.
“Cam, (our relationship) goes deeper than just the Patriots,” Meyers said on “The Rich Eisen Show” on Wednesday. “I played with Cam when I was in high school. I played for his 7-on-7 team, so just to see a guy who’s always upbeat, energetic and loving life. It doesn’t matter what you threw at him, he was always the same guy.
“When he came to the Patriots I wasn’t really playing like that, and he was a guy who sat me aside and said, ‘Just keep going. Keep pushing.’ He saw talent in me. Then when I got my chance he got me the ball, so I’m appreciative to a lot of guys out (in New England) and he’s definitely one of them.”
Even when the Patriots moved on from Newton the following season in favor of Mac Jones, Meyers continued to steadily improve and eventually led New England in receiving for three consecutive seasons. Now, he’s in Las Vegas, where Josh McDaniels will hope he can contribute in the same capacity.