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NFL Draft Spotlight on Kerry Meier
It seems that if you’re going to compare former Kansas University wide receiver Kerry Meier to an NFL player, you’re going to first have to decide if you want to compare him to a tight end or a wide receiver.
Although there are a few receivers out there who share Meier’s size — 6-foot-3, 220 pounds — there aren’t many that have the same combination of steady hands and brute toughness like Meier. At the same, the tight ends that possess those traits are far bigger than Meier and, therefore, not quite as athletic or sure-handed.
Though he probably won’t be drafted before the fourth round in this week’s NFL Draft (Thursday through Saturday in New York City), Meier is one of the most intriguing players available in this year’s draft class, simply because he can be so versatile.
Consider this: Depending on which team drafts him, Meier could be in line to play one of five different positions in the pros. And that’s not counting special teams.
Wide receiver? Obviously. That’s what he’ll be drafted as and that’s where he’ll get his first shot.
Tight end? Sure. If he added 15-20 pounds of muscle (easier said than done) and became obsessed with becoming more physical and a better blocker, Meier could be the first of a new breed of NFL tight ends.
Quarterback? Why not? He was a star in high school at the position and had a pretty good freshman season at KU before making the switch. What’s more, he never stopped working as a QB — serving as Todd Reesing’s back-up despite becoming a starting receiver — and it was his quarterback’s eye and understanding that helped him excel as a wideout. It’s not likely, but if he ends up with a team like Cleveland or Oakland, they might give him a look under center when all other options fail.
Safety? Maybe. He certainly has the build and the knowledge of how the secondary works. And his speed, though not blazing, might be good enough to make him a decent strong safety. The big question here would be if he could all of a sudden learn how to become a punishing hitter. I wouldn’t bet against it.
Linebacker? Doubtful. But, again, if he added 20-30 pounds of muscle and developed a mean streak, I bet there’s at least one NFL GM or head coach who could see Meier manning the middle. Again, though, this one is the least likely of them all.
But isn’t that the point. Doesn’t this exercise at least illustrate just how valuable Meier could become for an NFL club? I mean, he might not be the hottest wide receiver prospect out there, but he is an athlete. And a great one at that. He’s already shown a willingness to try a new position and, more importantly, he’s already shown that he can succeed at a new spot if given the chance.
Some NFL team is going to draft Florida quarterback Tim Tebow and do whatever it takes to turn him into a pro-style QB. Tebow’s athletic prowess alone guarantees that. The catch is, whoever snags him might have to do it in the first round.
Four or five rounds later, however, a team will take a gamble on a guy named Kerry Meier for the very same reasons. Like Tebow, Meier possesses all of the physical attributes you look for in an athlete. The thing that gives the team taking Meier the advantage over the team that takes Tebow? They won’t have to waste a first-round pick on him and they might be able to try him out at more than one position.
NFL WRs with Kerry Meier type size
Marques Colston, New Orleans, 6-4, 225
Anquan Boldin, Baltimore, 6-1, 217
Roy Williams, Dallas, 6-3, 215
Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City, 6-2, 221
Terrell Owens, Free Agent, 6-3, 224
NFL TEs with Kerry Meier type skills
Dallas Clark, Indianapolis, 6-3, 252
Kellen Winslow Jr., Tampa Bay, 6-4, 240
Dustin Keller, New York Jets, 6-2, 248
Tony Scheffler, Denver, 6-5, 255
Brent Celek, Philadelphia, 6-4, 255