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How Jakobi Meyers is separating himself from the pack

When looking at the Raiders roster, it might be easy to overlook Jakobi Meyers.

The Las Vegas Raiders have two other high-profile pass catchers, starting with three-time All-Pro receiver Davante Adams who led the NFL in receiving touchdowns in two of his last four seasons. The team drafted Brock Bowers with its 2024 first-round pick, a product of Georgia who won a record two John Mackey Awards, given to college football's most outstanding tight end.

But throughout offseason workouts, Meyers has been one of the go-to receivers for all the quarterbacks. Using his quick release and route-running abilities, he's found himself getting open on the large majority of his reps. He also has the hands to match, coming down with every ball in the middle of the field or tip-toeing along the sidelines.

The best way to describe his game: smooth.

Off the field, he maintains a low key demeanor. Even while speaking with the local media during minicamp, the relaxed, nonchalant persona remained.

Does finding the end zone more frequently appeal to Meyers?

"I don't care if I do or don't, honestly. I just love playing football for real," Meyers said.

What accolades does he hope to reach?

"I'm going to be out there playing regardless," he said. "I'm just out here feeding my family and doing what I love to do. So, if 1,000 yards comes, it's going to come. If it don't, I'll be back next year hopefully."

Even if Meyers tries to stay under the radar, his play simply won't allow him too. He's entering the prime of his career in his second season with the Raiders, with a career-high 11 total touchdowns in 2023 – receiving, rushing and passing.

Head Coach Antonio Pierce has seen firsthand the growth in No. 16 over this offseason.

"Jakobi is that guy," Pierce said. "When you say I need a dog, Jakobi is that dog. Jakobi is an alpha. Jakobi is fearless. Jakobi works probably as hard as any player on our team. You saw this last year, his commitment in the run game speaks volumes because he could be easily a 100 reception and 1,000-yard receiver, but it's all those other things. It's those crack back blocks, it's those hits on the D-end, the linebacker, getting his nose bloody, rolling up his sleeves, flexing on guys, setting the tone.

"His energy and presence, he might not say a lot and you guys know him, real slick and slight of words, but when he speaks you better listen because he's got some substance behind him."

Wide receivers coach Edgar Bennett has also identified "that dog" within Meyers, labeling him as one of the team's leaders. What impresses Bennett the most is the way Meyers leads by example, which has gone a longer way than anything that could be said.

"He's been here every day, setting the standard," Bennett noted. "I know in our room that's so valuable. When you have a number of veteran guys, that's their makeup. That's their approach. ... It just makes it a lot easier when young players come in and adapt to our system. This is how we work. This is how we prepare day in and day out. I think it definitely helps with the younger guys."

As Meyers prepares to build on last season's success, he continues to keep a simplistic approach.

"Just how I attack the game, honestly," Meyers said. "I feel like mine is a lot of off the field stuff, just preparing better, working harder off the field and just getting myself ready to play for a whole season.

"I feel like it's something I enjoy. It should be hard. It should be different. If it wasn't, everybody would do it. That's how you separate yourself."

The Raiders hit the practice field for day two of mandatory minicamp at Intermountain Health Performance Center.

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