Gordon: Jakobi Meyers Catching on Faster than Harry, Berrios

Gordon: Jakobi Meyers Catching on Faster than Harry, Berrios

by August 7, 2019 0 comments

When it comes to wide receivers, Jakobi Meyers is just ahead of the pack.

The NC State alum is catching everybody’s attention by not only wearing Rob Gronkowski’s favorite number, but by making one big play after another after another.

Photo: Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Sure, training camp practices against your own team are a small sample size. But at joint practices in Detroit when the New England Patriots’ first team offense trotted onto the field with Meyers in tow, their first-round selection Harry remained on the sidelines.

With no set timetable for Julian Edelman’s return this preseason [NFI] and Demaryius Thomas still on the PUP list, Meyers is undoubtedly the best performing player at training camp.

His success thus far has reportedly made head coach Bill Belichick keep him restricted from the media in the last four sessions.

But that has not stopped Patriots quarterback Tom Brady from voicing his praise of the 23-year old.

“He’s done a great job and he’s taken advantage of his opportunities,” Brady told the Boston Herald. “I think that’s really what we try to stress to anybody. It really doesn’t matter – 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.”

While Patriots fans might have pre-ordered their Harry jerseys for the upcoming season, Meyers is playing like the star he was not supposed to be.

In fact in 2016, Meyers switched from quarterback to wide receiver. Sound familiar? Meyers had his best season in North Carolina in 2018 catching 92 passes for 1047 yards and four touchdowns.

But there has to be a reason he was not picked in this year’s draft and it was not hard to find.

One of the biggest criticisms coming out of the NFL Draft was the NC State alum’s explosiveness.

At 6-foot-2, one would assume his strength is stretching the field. It is the exact opposite.

Kyle Crabbs of The Draft Network stated it the simplest and the best.

One speed runner who won’t shock anyone with his burst once he’s able to turn his nose up the field and look for daylight. Will struggle to close vs. off coverage but if he’s able to get on the toes, he can transition fine and find room for a catch. 

-Krabbs on Meyers

This was further evident in his pedestrian 40-yard time. At 4.63 seconds, that comes in almost a whole millisecond slower than Harry, and three milliseconds slower than D.K. Metcalf drafted by the Seattle Seahawks.

Moderate football fans if reading this should know that when it comes to the 40-time, milliseconds mean everything. A small shifty receiver in this day and age, should be able to clock in at the 4.2-4.4 second range. While a deep/dual threat receiver like Harry should hit between 4.3 and 4.5 as well as a solid three-cone drill to demonstrate their explosiveness and versatility.

To put it simply, when it comes to wide receivers, his three-cone drill while not the worst, was not the best either.

It is so important that it arguably caused Metcalf’s fall in the Draft when he ran it in 7.38 seconds. Meyers was better at 7.07 seconds but again, still pedestrian. Compare that to Deion Branch’s 6.71 three-cone time in 2002 which was the best that year among receivers.

Even Jon Ledyard at the Draft Network Meyers’ said that Meyers’ speed was fine, the explosiveness was just not there.

Long speed should be fine, but probably not going to test NFL defenses as a burner-type, even if he gets more reps on the outside. Builds up to top speed, but doesn’t have the easy access burst to separate or threaten off coverage off the snap. Rarely asked to win over the top in 1v1 situations at N.C. State.

-Ledyard on Meyers

Even with mediocre ‘intangibles,’ Meyers has caught every ball thrown his way, outplaying any cornerback that goes against him.

All the while wide receiver Braxton Berrios, who many fans were excited to see get more time with Edelman’s absence, has been disappointing.

The receiver out of the University of Miami considered the best slot receiver in his draft, has not been doing what a slot receiver should specialize in. Separating from cornerbacks.

“Braxton Berrios consistently cannot get enough separation for catches,” USA Today’s Henry McKenna wrote on Berrios on July 31. “During a competitive 1-on-1 rep, cornerback Jonathan Jones managed a pass breakup [against Berrios]. The same thing happened on the following rep when Berrios couldn’t haul in a catch against rookie cornerback De’Angelo Ross.”

Even as a punt returner, Patriots.com writer Andy Hart highlighted a horrible day for Berrios.

“Braxton Berrios handled the return duties for the punters’ post-practice work,” Hart wrote. [He] was inconsistent with a few ugly drops. Berrios has not had a great first week-plus of camp.” 

It is a tight battle for roster spots behind Julian Edelman, N’Keal Harry, and Phillip Dorsett. As well as a few questions marks with Thomas on the PUP and Josh Gordon applying on his reinstatement.

When it comes to who is on the field now, It has been Meyers’ show with Harry and Berrios falling behind.

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