Jakobi Meyers is poised to be the next Christian Kirk in free agency

Jakobi Meyers is a steal on this 12 months’s class of free agent receivers
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March 2022: The Los Angeles Rams had been lower than a month away from their Tremendous Bowl parade, and NFL free company was simply getting underway. The followers had been a naive bunch earlier than the 2022 offseason, as no thought about the storm of game-changing strikes that lay instantly in entrance of us. Earlier than Russell Wilson to the Broncos, Davante Adams to the Raiders, Tyreek Hill to the Dolphins, and AJ Brown to the Eagles, there was a transfer that set all big-name free agent signings in movement: Christian Kirk signed a four-year contract. . , $72 million deal (as much as $84 million by means of incentives) with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Positive, this wasn’t the primary transfer of the offseason, because the above tweet mentions, however it was the primary main signing. Kirk had simply completed the most effective season of his profession, racking up 77 receptions, 982 yards and 5 touchdowns with the Arizona Cardinals. Nonetheless, when phrase bought across the web about Kirk’s deal, followers in every single place collectively tilted their heads in confusion. Positive, he was first rate, however he wasn’t value as much as $21 million a 12 months, proper?

Effectively, after one season in Jacksonville, the Jaguars appear to be geniuses. When he stepped into the highlight, Kirk thrived, setting new profession information in each main class. He accelerated the event of quarterback Trevor Lawrence and his Jags are poised to steer the AFC South for years to return. Though paying somebody as unsuccessful within the NFL as Kirk appeared questionable on the time, he paid dividends as a result of the Jaguars noticed what Kirk might change into. Each workforce ought to try to have a flowery new extensive receiver to assist out their younger quarterback, even when it means paying a reasonably penny. Hill helped Tua Tagovailoa. Brown helped Jalen Hurts. Whereas there will not be as many proficient receivers out there by means of trades as there have been final offseason, the free agent class of 2023 he nonetheless has some gems within the position, most notably 26-year-old Jakobi Meyers.

What about different free company WR expertise?

Whereas different extra established recipients resembling Tremendous Bowl Champion JuJu Smith-Schuster or Aaron Rodgers’ predominant purpose for 2022 Allen Lazard could also be safer choices, the lead Meyers brings to the desk could be very paying homage to Christian Kirk earlier than the Jaguars. Meyers thrives on slots, although he has proven a potential to win overseas as nicely. In 2022, he lined up in area for 333 offensive snaps (51.7 p.c of the time), the Sixteenth-most snaps within the league. He racked up 67 receptions, 804 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns in simply fourteen video games. whereas working a run-heavy conservative offense with unsatisfactory quarterback recreation and Matt Patricia as their offensive coordinator. That is lots of elements working in opposition to Meyers, and but he confirmed flashes of potential as a prime receiver.

Now, Kirk and Meyers do not share most of the identical instruments. Kirk is a YAC monster with nice pace and elusiveness. Meyers excels in contested catch conditions. For the previous three years, he has maintained a 69 percent catch rate on contested balls. That is among the finest marks within the league. Nevertheless, the purpose nonetheless stays. Each gamers had been underutilized by the workforce that drafted them and had the instruments to rise to stardom beneath the proper circumstances. Fortunately for Meyers, Kirk paved the way in which for the NC State product to win an enormous payday. earlier than 2023.

The place can Meyers excel?

The following query ought to be, “Okay, clearly the Patriots weren’t the proper system to maximise Meyers’ skills. Who’s it?” The only reply could be to duplicate a workforce within the Jaguars state of affairs: good head coach, younger quarterback, strong working recreation however not a run-heavy offense and in want of receiving expertise. The New Yorks The Giants meet three of these classes.Sadly, they seem to be a pretty close-knit workforce, rating twenty second in pass-play percentage final season. Additionally, the working recreation may not be as robust for Large Blue in 2023 if Saquon Barkley does not re-sign. The Colts and/or Texans are most likely the most effective match relying on what they do within the subsequent draft. Positive, each groups are heading into 2023 with rookie head coaches, which might additionally upset their high-passing tendencies beginning in 2022 (rating ninth and tenth within the league), however that is as near 4 marks as we’ll get. acquire.

The Meyers deal might additionally set the usual for the remainder of the 2023 free agent extensive receiver class. Really, nonetheless, nobody, besides maybe Smith-Schuster, ought to come near the typical annual worth that Meyers will earn. Odell Beckham Jr. is getting previous and did not play final season. Allen Lazard had an opportunity to take over all of the targets Davante Adams left behind in Inexperienced Bay. He was outshone by a pair of rookie extensive receivers. Darius Slayton was inconsistent. Julio Jones is now not the man he as soon as was.

The actual fact is that a number of groups noticed different organizations pay huge cash for extensive receivers final offseason, and nearly all of them turned out precisely as their franchise hoped. Even when Meyers does not possess the required expertise to blow up in 2023 as Kirk did. It’s laborious for me to assume that any workforce shouldn’t be prepared to take that danger. Personally, nonetheless, I think about him. Do not be stunned when it occurs.

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