It comes off as uninspired on the surface, but is a Patriots’ restricted free agent wide receiver really a good match for the Detroit Lions?
Any mention of the New England Patriots is sure to make Detroit Lions’ fans cringe, after the Matt Patricia experience over less than three full seasons that felt like much longer. But under a new regime, there’s a fresh culture and some fresh thinking.
There’s no denying the Lions are in the market for wide receivers this offseason. There is a certain skill set/physical profile they’ve been open about prioritizing, but receivers coach Antwaan Randle El wants multiple additions via free agency and the draft to foster competition.
In the free agency realm, Pro Football Network’s Dalton Miller pointed to Jakobi Meyers as someone the Lions should sign. A restricted free agent, Meyers has spent the last three seasons with the Patriots.
Is Jakobi Meyers really a good fit for the Lions?
Here’s a sampling of what Miller wrote.
"Meyers isn’t the most physically gifted receiver, but he is an outstanding route runner that creates separation early in routes and on shorter and intermediate routes. He won’t command a high aDOT (average depth of target), nor will he excel after the catch.Meyers didn’t test off the charts, but his 6.36 Relative Athletic Score must not have impressed evaluators much. At nearly 6’2″, 205 pounds, he ran poorly and didn’t test like an agile athlete."
Meyers switched from quarterback to wide receiver in college at North Carolina State, and he went undrafted in 2019. He became a prominent player for New England in 2020 (59 receptions for 729 yards), and upped those numbers last season (83 receptions for 866 yards). He finally scored his first NFL touchdown in Week 10 of the 2021 campaign.
The Patriots don’t have to give Meyers a lofty restricted free agent tender, or tender him at all. The cheapest tender, a right-of-first-refusal tender, would be worth an estimated $2.4 million and give them no draft pick compensation if they decide not to match an offer sheet from another team. Giving him a multi-year deal is obviously an option.
Meyers would give the Lions a reliable target in the intermediate area of the field, and he seems to have room to grow. He’s just not a very exciting potential addition, in a broad sense.