In a move likely to still not satisfy those PO'd about losing OT Lydon Murtha off the practice squad, the Lions signed OL Jamon Meredith off the Bills waiver where he was likely heading back to their practice squad. It's bitter irony for the Bills as they "Murtha'd" Meredith from the Packers PS just last year! He was a Packers 5th round pick in the 2009 draft out of SC.
Meredith went into camp this year as a likely candidate to start as LT on their lackluster OL. Somehow he didn't manage to secure the starting position and now was likely headed to their practice squad and now is a Lion! So who is Jamon Meredith beyond the latest to be "Mayhewed"? He's a 6' 5" 311lb offensive lineman experienced at LT, RT, LG, and RG. He has big wings at 34.5" and ran a sub 5.0 40 at the combine last year. Here's some of the pre-draft info I found from going into the 2009 draft:
POSITIVES: Athletic tackle who plays with terrific fundamentals. Bends his knees, sets with a wide base, and blocks with terrific leverage. Keeps his feet moving throughout the action, and displays the ability to slide off the edge, covering a lot of area. Shows top footwork in space. Stays square, anchors in pass protection, and nicely adjusts the oncoming defenders. Extends his hands into opponents and keeps them away. Displays solid movement skills and effective blocking in motion. Quickly picks up blitzes and works well with teammates.
NEGATIVES: Must improve his blocking balance, as he’s on the field too much. Does not consistently attack assignments. His passion for the game and toughness has been questioned by NFL scouts.
ANALYSIS: When he hits on all cylinders, Meredith is one of the better pass protectors in the draft. He comes off a poor senior campaign and will be selected much later than his talents warrant. Meredith offers a lot of upside, and he could very easily break into the starting lineup at the all-important left tackle position if he gets his game back on track and consistently plays on a high level.
PROJECTION: Second Round
….Meredith started eight games while fighting an ankle injury, but scouts like the way he took to the new position. Athletic and experienced at every position along the offensive line (except center), Meredith has the tools worthy of development and could compete for NFL playing time as a versatile swingman. Had an arm span of 34 1/2 inches and a hand span of 10 inches at the combine.
Positives: Good height with long arms and an athletic build, typical of top-tier left tackles. … Adequate punch, and will extend his arms and get his hands on the numbers to keep defenders at bay. … Gets to linebackers at the second level very well and hits the moving target. … Able to adjust to oncoming defenders in space. … Positions himself to seal the edge using quick feet and good hand placement. … Can cut-block defensive ends on his side to give the quarterback a lane on quick throws. Negatives: A bit slow to move his feet at times, relying on his length too much. … Other times he drops back too far, allowing the end to twist inside untouched. … Plays a bit tall in pass protection. … Struggles to reach down to block to the guard when he doesn’t explode from his stance. … Could sustain blocks better in space.
Meredith is an athletic tackle who has the build of a tight end. He has a long frame with a tremendous wingspan that gives him an advantage when going up against edge rushers. He has quick feet and moves well laterally. He plays with a wide base and delivers a quick punch to the opposition. He has to work on his technique and not rely on his length. He plays too high and struggles to get low. – Chris Steuber, Scout.com
If NFL teams are looking for an offensive lineman to come in and contribute immediately, they can look no further than this South Carolina Gamecock. To say Meredith is high on the experience factor would be an understatement. He redshirted as a freshman after playing in one game, and coming into 2008 he had started 28 consecutive games; 29 in total dating back to his freshman season. Meredith started 18 straight at left tackle protecting his quarterback’s blind side, but recently he has been forced to show his versatility. He had to sit out two games at the start of this season due to having played during his 2005 redshirt year, and coach Steve Spurrier moved him to guard upon his return. In addition to his football skills (which include running under 5.0 in the 40-yard-dash despite his size), Meredith is outstanding in the classroom and will bring no off-the-field concerns with him into the next level. Right now he looks like a second-rounder in the 2009 draft. Meredith has the frame to get even bigger and he needs to show he can truly dominate a game up front before NFL brass will be convinced to go for him in round one.
It seems to me the ankle injury he suffered with during his senior year greatly lowered his draft value last year. I can understand how he could have had a tough time getting on the Packers 53 but I'm still a bit curious how he couldn't survive on the Bills. All in all tho I have to say I never thought I'd be this pleased to snag a Bills castoff!
Now to speculate a bit. He really does seem to fit the mold of what the Lions are looking for, young, intelligent, and aggressive players that can fit into a number of positions. I can understand how it must have been a no brainer for them to decide to part ways with ManRam in favor of the Meredith pickup! His build and experience seem to lend himself as the more likely heir apparent to the LT position than 2010 draft pick Jason Fox. The bonus to that is with his strong conditioning and experience it doesn't seem like a stretch of the imagination we could see him challenging for play time with struggling Peterman at RG or even Cherilus at RT, although Cherilus has been arguably performing well so far this year.
Ok Mayhew, here is your next mission(s), go get us a quality LB, S, or CB without giving up much if anything!!