Bill Belichick on Patriots wide receiver Jakobi Meyers: “I certainly have a lot of respect for what he has accomplished”
In two games last September, Jakobi Meyers played 15 offensive snaps and caught the only pass sent in his direction. In two games in September, the former undrafted finish from North Carolina state played 126 and caught 10.
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick praised the progress during his Friday press conference.
“As a player Jakobi has grown very, I would say, steadily since coming here,” Belichick told reporters. “Not drafted, it was really a bit of an unusual adjustment in offense just because of his background. And it’s interesting, I’ve talked to a few coaches he had at NC State, and he’s just an interesting kid.
A three-star rookie for Georgia Mountain High School quarterback, Meyers converted to wide receiver after jacking up his first season. He would catch 168 passes for 1,932 yards and nine touchdowns during his Wolfpack career before running the 40-yard dash in 4.63 seconds and the three-cone drill in 7.07 seconds at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine.
“He doesn’t really have the profile of a slot machine receiver. He doesn’t quite have the profile of a perimeter receiver, ”Belichick said of the 6-foot-2, 200-pound Meyers. “But he does both. He has good skills that allow him to be multiple and he is intelligent. It just doesn’t match, I would say, the exact profile you would have for a particular location. But the combination of all, it does it pretty well.
Meyers then led the Patriots with 59 receptions for 729 yards last season and threw two touchdowns. The 24-year-old did so despite being inactive for one game and not leaving the sideline for another.
“He got a lot better with every phase of the game – blocking, man-to-man racing, inside routes, outside routes, area awareness,” Belichick added. “I’ve just adjusted to the quarterback, he’s been playing three different quarters, so that’s part of that too. And he continues to do a lot of the little things that are important not only in his position but within the group as a whole. “
Meyers played 76% of his snaps in the slot this fall, according to Focus on professional football. He’s been targeted 15 times by rookie quarterback Mac Jones. And his 82 receiving yards currently rank second in New England’s depth chart behind Nelson Agholor and ahead of Kendrick Bourne.
“He’s given a lot of good leadership to the receiving group because he’s got the most experience in our system of all these players,” Belichick said. “Of course Nelly and KB played a lot of football, but Jakobi played more for us. But it was very consistent. It wasn’t just year 1 to year 2, but it was then the year 2 to year 3. He has really improved every year and throughout every season as well.
“So I think everyone – I certainly have a lot of respect for what he’s accomplished and how hard he’s worked to work on his weaknesses and improve those areas to become some kind of receiver that can do. a lot of things for us. “