By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
The Patriots have two rookies at wide receiver to start the 2019 season, but each of their careers will begin under entirely different circumstances. There's a decent chance that Jakobi Meyers makes his debut on Sunday night against the Steelers. First-round pick N'Keal Harry, however, has to start the year on injured reserve.
Their careers started differently as soon as the draft. Meyers proved a lot of doubters wrong in making the Pats' 53-man roster - including the Patriots, who along with every other team passed on him with their picks. After watching Meyers rise to the top of the Patriots' depth chart throughout training camp, it became more and more of a mystery how no one viewed him as a top-254 prospect.
One of the knocks on Meyers that left him off so many draft boards was a perceived lack of NFL-caliber speed. Meyers had a message for those doubters in a new Instagram post on Tuesday.
"'Too slow' they said... Game week," Meyers' caption reads, with a little "Be quiet" emoji.
Harry, meanwhile, addressed his Instagram followers in the wake of the news that he'll spend at least the first eight games of his rookie season on injured reserve. The Patriots can activate him starting in Week 9 if he's ready to return.
To illustrate the challenges ahead for him, Harry shared a quote from Martin Luther King Jr.: "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."
As the 32nd overall pick in the 2019 draft, Harry is immediately going to face scrutiny about how much he can contribute to the Patriots in his rookie year. The Pats could use all the production they can get out of the receiver position, where there's a lot of uncertainty beyond Julian Edelman. It's unfortunate that Harry won't be able to grow into the offense right away.
Getting back on the field in a timely fashion and making a quick impact in the second half of the season would go a long way toward Harry proving his talent and mental toughness. He appears up for the challenge.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at [email protected].