In his early days as the Las Vegas Raiders head coach, Josh McDaniels has shown that he’s not afraid to bring over former New England Patriots. He’s already hired four former Patriots coaches in offensive coordinator Mick Lombardi, defensive coordinator Patrick Graham, quarterbacks coach Bo Hardegree and offensive line coach Carmen Bricillo. Once free agency rolls around, it’s safe to assume that McDaniels will take long looks at former Patriots players to potentially sign to the Raiders.
Wide receiver will be a big position the team needs to target. Outside of Hunter Renfrow, there are no sure things at the position going forward and the team needs a true No. 1. McDaniels’ top receiver with the Patriots last season was Jakobi Meyers. He caught 83 passes for 866 yards, leading the team in both categories. He’s set to hit free agency this offseason and could be an interesting player for the Raiders to add. However, Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report believes the team should “avoid” the wide receiver:
With both McDaniels and Ziegler coming from the Patriots, the duo may look to bring along some familiar faces from New England. And the Raiders could use an additional pass-catcher to complement Bryan Edwards, Hunter Renfrow and tight end Darren Waller.
However, Las Vegas should avoid jumping on restricted free agent Jakobi Meyers.
The 25-year-old was productive in 2021, catching 83 passes for 866 yards and two touchdowns. However, he wasn’t particularly efficient. He caught just 65.9 percent of his targets and provided a passer rating of only 83.0 when targeted.
A lot will depend on how/if the Patriots tender Meyers as a restricted free agent. If New England gives him a first- or second-round tender, it would cost Las Vegas significant draft capital in addition to contract dollars.
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Meyers Not Worth Draft Picks
If Meyers was an unrestricted free agency, he’d be a smart player for the Raiders to sign. He came into the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2019 and worked his way into the starting lineup. He became a favorite target for rookie quarterback Mac Jones in 2021. New England will likely want to keep him, which means he’ll get tendered in some capacity this offseason.
While he could be a good fit with the Raiders, he’s definitely not worth giving a first or second-round draft pick. With more proven wide receivers like Calvin Ridley or Brandin Cooks possibly being available on the trade market, the team would be wiser to target one of those guys.
Will Raiders Want to Spend Big Money on a WR?
Over recent years, wide receivers have increased their value due to the added emphasis on the passing game. Top wide receivers are getting paid a premium. However, there’s been a consistent influx of great wide receivers coming out of college recently. Ja’Marr Chase was one of the best offensive players in the NFL last season despite being a rookie who didn’t play his last year in college.
Fans would love to see the Raiders sign a big name like Davante Adams or Allen Robinson in free agency, the smarter move could be to draft a wide receiver in the first round and pay them rookie money. Should the Raiders decide not to spend big on a wide receiver, they will likely be using that money on offensive line and cornerback help.