As I did a year ago when trying to fill the down time between my scouting reports of the Atlanta Falcons 2016 draft class, I’ve decided just for fun to post some archived scouting reports I wrote of former Falcons picks from yesteryear. Last year, I posted reports on wide receiver Julio Jones and linebacker Sean Weatherspoon. Now I’ll dive into some of the team’s mid and late-round picks.
I’ll make minimal changes to these reports as they were written back then, focusing only on grammar and syntax. I’ve also added a little bit of a postscript to discuss Meier’s legacy.
I’ve decided to kick things off with 2010 fifth-round wide receiver Kerry Meier, likely because many of you reading this probably forgot all about him.
Height: 6-2 Weight: 219
Pros: Has good hands and will lay out for the tough grabs. Not afraid to deliver blow to defender after the catch. Does a good job looking the ball in before turning upfield. Shows potential as a blocker, able to get position out in space. Most effective on shorter and pick routes.
Cons: Body catches at times. Lacks speed to stretch the field. Needs to polish up his route-running. Lacks strength and technique to take on linebackers as a blocker.
Overview: He’s a former quarterback that was the starter as a freshman before losing his job to Todd Reesing the following year. He was moved to wide receiver that year and has made steady improvement. Led the team in receptions this past year, with 97 catches for 1045 yards (10.8 avg) and eight touchdowns.
NFL Forecast: Meier is going to be hard-pressed to stick as a receiver at the next level. He just doesn’t have the quickness or polish to really think he can impact in the near future there. He’s a hard-working guy that was a good athlete for a quarterback, but just doesn’t compare when it comes to receivers. I think he’s a player that is going to have to move to H-back and eventually to tight end in the future. I think his career could mirror that of Billy Miller (Saints), who entered the league as a big receiver and did relatively nothing in three years in Denver. Then upon leaving Denver for Houston, he began to develop into a capable receiving tight end and backup. Meier’s length to impact is going to be fairly long and the team that drafts him will have to be patient with him. He’ll need to bulk up significantly, improve and develop as a blocker. In the mean time, he’s going to have to try and compete on special teams. Like many other wide receivers-turned-tight ends, he’s unlikely to contribute much in his first three or so years. More than likely like Miller, Meier will be more successful with his second and/or third team than the one that drafts him. But because of his work ethic, I think he can eventually make it work.
ATL Forecast: Meier would have a hard time sticking in Atlanta unless they tried to employ him as an H-back off the bat. But he would likely sit the bench early on because he doesn’t offer a ton of value as a receiver or blocker. He would have to sit on the practice squad for probably two whole years before he could be expected to contribute much of anything. And even then, it probably won’t be a lot. There are simply better undersized H-backs out there to think Meier would bring a lot to the table in his first few years as a Falcon. Even then, his upside at best is as a backup receiving tight end that offers depth in case a starter gets hurt rather than being a regular part of the offense.
Value: Meier is too much of a tweener and project to be worth drafting. But for a team that is willing to wait three or four years for him to contribute, it wouldn’t be crazy to use a late seventh round pick on him. But again, it’s more than likely that team will be developing him for someone else rather than themselves.
Postscript: Looking Back Seven Years Later…
While the preceding scouting report is less than praising of Meier’s NFL potential, it is worthwhile to point out that his career prospects may have fared much better than I initially predicted had he not suffered a torn ACL in his first training camp in Atlanta.
I’ve always believed that the Falcons targeted Meier specifically to fill the same role that Brian Finneran once held: as a versatile reserve that could line up at multiple positions as Finneran did in Mike Mularkey’s offense throughout his final years in Atlanta. At various times during his final three seasons with the Falcons (2008-10), Finneran was deployed at fullback, tight end, H-back, slot receiver and outside receiver. He also played a valuable role on special teams as well, both in coverage and as an emergency option to fair catch balls on punt returns.
However Meier never lived up to this vision, only partially fulfilling the role as a coverage specialist on special teams in 2011, yet never recording a tackle in that capacity. His biggest claim to fame in his brief NFL career wound up being a nasty blindside hit that ended the season of Minnesota Vikings long snapper Cullen Loeffler. Meier was eventually cut by the Falcons following the 2012 season after missing another year with an undisclosed leg injury.
The most recent thing I could
quickly google find on what Meier has been up to since hanging up the cleats is that he was teaching English to Korean students in 2015, in honor of his brother Dylan, who died in a hiking accident just days before Kerry was drafted in 2010.