BOSTON (CBS) — When it comes to trying to stick in the NFL as an unheralded young receiver, there aren’t many people better suited to show you the way than Julian Edelman.
A seventh-round flier in the 2009 draft, Edelman went from being a mobile college quarterback to becoming Tom Brady’s most reliable target, a three-time Super Bowl champion, and a Super Bowl MVP. It’s the type of script that Hollywood reject for being too unrealistic.READ MORE: Dive Teams Searching New Hampshire Pond For Missing 5-Year-Old Elijah Lewis
While such a career may be the rarest of the rare, Edelman still serves as an inspirational leader for any young receiver in Foxboro who finds himself in a comparable spot. Jakobi Meyers, who’s entering his second season as a Patriot after joining the team as an undrafted free agent last year … after a college career that began with him as a quarterback before transitioning to receiver? He would qualify as one such player.
“Just watching him day in, day out, the way he works, the way he attacks the game, the way he attacks other players on the other team,” Meyers said Tuesday regarding Edelman’s influence on him. “It’s a guy you love to play with, but hate to play against. Just watching the way he goes about it, even little route cues, I try to pay attention to him because he’s been doing it for a long time. I’d be blessed to be in the situation that he’s in.”READ MORE: Kids' COVID Vaccine Shots Expected To Arrive In Massachusetts By Nov. 5
Indeed, not every young receiver has a player like Edelman to learn from on the field and in the meeting rooms, and their comparable backstories would seemingly lead Meyers to pursue a path like Edelman’s. Yet even Meyers had to admit that trying to emulate Edelman completely would likely not work out for anybody.
“There’s only one Julian Edelman,” Meyers said. “I’m not going to be able to say that I do exactly what he does, but I have tried to take little route cues and little things that he just instills in all the younger guys. Just how he works and little details that he puts into the game every day. We just try to pick up on those and use them in our daily lives.”
Meyers, 23, caught 26 passes for 359 yards with no touchdowns as a rookie. It was a year that had its normal swing of ups and downs, and Meyers said he’s spent the last several months working to ensure a step forward in 2020.MORE NEWS: 'Best Places To Retire': 4 Massachusetts & New Hampshire Cities Land On New List
“Last year, I definitely used as a baseline just how I want to move forward. I just feel like I need to be an overall better receiver,” Meyers said. “I tried to get better mentally. My footwork. I went and worked with different trainers. We had a long time to lift and rest. I did gain a little weight, did stay in the gym a little bit. I just want to be a better overall receiver coming in because I knew that it would only have to get better from last year. That was just a stepping stone and I would have to propel myself into a better situation.”