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Jakobi Meyers' unique path to the Las Vegas Raiders

The signing of Jakobi Meyers is something Raider Nation should be excited about.

After going undrafted, the former New England Patriot established himself as the team's lead receiver before finding his way to the Raiders this week. He's now reunited with Head Coach Josh McDaniels, his offensive coordinator for three seasons, and brings quiet leadership and reputable work ethic to the Silver and Black locker room

Let's take a closer look at Meyers' journey to Las Vegas.

From the mound to the field

Meyers initially had his sights set on becoming a baseball player, with no desire of ever playing organized football. After some convincing from coaches, the Lithonia, Georgia, native decided to try out for quarterback. This led to him becoming a three-star dual-threat quarterback, rated by 247 Sports. He received three offers from NC State, Kent State and Wake Forest – ultimately choosing the Wolfpack.

"I will say, the fact that I played quarterback and I played other sports is probably the reason I am who I am today," he said. "I've just learned how to adapt. I learned how to understand what quarterbacks need, where I need to be, when I need to be there. So, it really made it a smooth transition. I just had to learn how to block and not get tired so fast. But other than that, it was a smooth transition. I really appreciate playing quarterback."

Wolfpack legend

After arriving to Raleigh, North Carolina, Meyers switched positions from quarterback to wide receiver. After redshirting his freshman year, he recorded 168 receptions for 1,932 yards and nine touchdowns in three seasons. The 92 receptions he totaled in his redshirt junior year eclipsed former All-Pro Torry Holt's single-season receptions record in the school's history books.

"When I first switched over [to wide receiver] it was like, 'Just use the talent you have, and that's going to get you to wherever you're trying to go,'" Meyers previously told the Patriots. "And I kind of carried that through college and my first year [in New England]."

Undrafted to WR1

Despite going undrafted in 2019, Meyers arrived to New England and immediately carved out a role for himself in the Patriots offense.

His first three NFL seasons, in which Josh McDaniels as his offensive coordinator, he totaled 168 catches, 1,954 receiving yards and two touchdowns in 46 games (26 starts). He's had the most receiving yards and catches of any Patriots player the past three seasons, including a breakout 2022 season with a career-high six touchdown grabs.

"That's something I won't ever probably let myself forget," Meyers said of going undrafted. "I remind myself every day, just don't get too big headed. At the end of the day, you're still that undrafted kid from Georgia. ... There's some precious moments. I know my mom has shed tears, my brothers, everybody I know, they're proud.

"I'm happy that I went through and stuck it out. I smile when I think about it. I'm grateful. Just thank God honestly."

Mentored by Cam Newton

While Meyers was still playing quarterback, one of his bigger mentors was 2015 NFL MVP Cam Newton. Newton, an Atlanta, Georgia, native, hosted 7-on-7 tournaments through his foundation, with Meyers being one of the young kids who has benefited from the program. Years later, Meyers and Newton would become Patriots teammates during the 2020 season.

"Jakobi going to North Carolina State as a quarterback, for him to be able to throw as far and as hard as he used to throw, and for him to transfer to the receiver position, I knew that he would have success," Newton told at the time. "Playing the quarterback position makes you intellectually sound, cerebral by default because you know what the quarterback is looking for. He's such an easy target to throw to, as you can kind of tell. He just finds a way to get open."

In 2020, Meyers dusted off some of his abilities as a quarterback – completing two passes, both for touchdowns.

New England ties in Southern Nevada

One of the more obvious reasons behind Meyers coming to the Raiders is reuniting with McDaniels. The receiver said the head coach challenged him when he first arrived to NFL, but it made him a much better player in the process.

"His thing is just ironing out all the details," said Meyers. "I feel like if you take care of the little things with Josh, it'll make sure all the big things are erased. He definitely drilled home focusing on every single detail. If that's route depth, step count, inside leverage, winning outside, he made sure he drilled it. And if you didn't do it the way he liked it, you repeated it. Like I said, it helped me as a man grow because it made me focus on the little things that matter in life not just football."

McDaniels and General Manager Dave Ziegler aren't the only familiar faces he'll see in Raiders headquarters. He'll once again be teammates with running back Brandon Bolden, offensive tackle Justin Herron and wide receiver Phillip Dorsett.

View photos of new Raiders wide receiver Jakobi Meyers in action. In 60 games, Meyers has totaled 235 receptions for 2,758 yards and 8 touchdowns.

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