Jakobi Meyers joins the Raiders through free agency with Phillip Dorsett

An introductory to your new Las Vegas Raiders’ receiving unit: Meet Jakobi Meyers, Phillip Dorsett

When a team enters free agency with a first-team All-Pro and additional Pro Bowler in their receiver unit, you probably don’t expect that team to aggressively chase receivers early on. With Davante Adams and Hunter Renfrow on the roster, the Las Vegas Raiders entered free agency with exactly that. One day later, the team agreed to terms with two receivers, including the one many considered the best of the class – Jakobi Meyers.

Once again, Dave Ziegler proved to be full of surprises.

How much of a surprise was it really, though? From the start, Ziegler and Josh McDaniels have prioritized bringing in “their” guys, adding two more on offense. For three of the four years Meyers has spent in the NFL, McDaniels has been his offensive coordinator. Phillip Dorsett, who the Raiders brought in with Meyers, also spent three years with McDaniels in New England.

It might not have been a total shock to see the former Patriots’ personnel continue doing things the ‘Patriot way’, but Ziegler’s next move left fans speechless; the trading of Darren Waller.

Waller, who was viewed by Las Vegas’ new regime as a ‘core-player’, received an extension before the ’22 season began. With the extension, Waller’s annual salary made him the league’s highest-paid tight end. Less than one calendar year later, he finds himself on a new team.

Waller isn’t the only ‘core-player’ who received an extension from the Raiders in 2022 just to find himself in a new uniform next season. Derek Carr, who received a three-year extension upon the new regime’s arrival, signed with the Saints after being cut in February.

With Jakobi Meyers now in town, Renfrow could become the third-of-four ‘core-players’ who were extended in 2022 to land elsewhere just one year later – 75%, [potentially] gone.

The ‘Patriot way’.

The newest Raiders; Jakobi Meyers, Phillip Dorsett

Joining the Patriots as an undrafted free agent in 2019, Jakobi Meyers was immediately greeted by Josh McDaniels. From ’19-’21, the two worked together, resulting in 168 receptions, 1,954 receiving yards and two touchdowns from Meyers.

The numbers won’t jump out at you, being Meyers has never logged north of 870 receiving yards in a season with only eight career touchdowns, but he’s a true jack-of-all-trades. In the slot, where he lined up 69.5% of the time in 2022, the now-former Patriot totaled the 13th-most yards. Meyers also proved to be a threat on the outside, notching six touchdowns with 333 yards receiving.

Zone or man coverage, it doesn’t matter.

Against zone, Meyer’s 124.1 quarterback rating when targeted was the ninth-highest league-wide. That number dropped some against man coverage, but stayed above the century mark with a rating of 108.1.

Meyers also hauled in 23 catches against man coverage; the 15th-most across the NFL.

Being able to excel both in the slot and outside, against both man and zone coverage is enough to be excited about, yet Meyers still brings plenty more to the table.

Throughout the entirety of his ’22 campaign, Pro Football Focus credited the N.C. State alum with only one drop. Since becoming a pro in 2019, he’s yet to record more than three drops in a season, per the outlet.

The 26-year-old is also a willing blocker, making things happen for runners – and, he throws touchdowns. Two of them, with a career completion percentage of 100%.

Phillip Dorsett

With lightning-quick speed and great playmaking ability, Dorsett was highly-regarded coming out of college. When the 2015 NFL Draft came around, the Indianapolis Colts cashed in their first-round pick to select him.

These days, though, fans forget Dorsett is still playing.

From ’17-’19, the newly-acquired Raiders’ receiver played with McDaniels in New England. In this timeframe, Dorsett totaled 73 receptions, 881 receiving yards and eight receiving touchdowns. His most productive year came alongside Meyers in 2019, where he logged 397 yards through the air with five scores.

In 2019, under Josh McDaniels with Meyers as a teammate, Dorsett earned a perfect quarterback rating on his 14 targets in the slot.

There’s a quiet consistency in that category. Dorsett bounced around multiple times in 2021, but once he found a full-time home with the Texans, he finished the ’22 season with the fourth-highest quarterback grade when targeted in the slot (148.8).

Masterful on the inside.

Between Renfrow, Meyers and now Dorsett, the Raiders have a lot of receivers who make things happen in the slot – too many, in fact. If the team decides to trade Renfrow, approximately $6 million in cap will be freed. If he remains in Las Vegas come Friday, his salary for 2023 becomes fully guaranteed.

*Top Photo: Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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