How Julian Edelman got to Patriots is very interesting story

Ryan Hannable
February 04, 2019 - 10:19 am

ATLANTA -- Not many people have a better story than Julian Edelman.

He went from being a junior college quarterback that no one wanted, to playing at Kent State, to being selected by the Patriots in the seventh round of the 2009 draft and switching to wide receiver.

Now, 10 years later, he's a Super Bowl MVP.

Speaking at the MVP press conference Monday morning, Bill Belichick went into great detail on how Edelman got to New England.

“It’s kind of interesting,” he said. “I’ve got to give [sportswriter] Rick Gosselin credit on that one for getting us started. I talked to Rick — as you know, Rick followed the draft very closely — and at one point, he said to me, ‘A kid you might want to take a look at is this quarterback out of Kent State. I don’t think he can play quarterback, but I’ve heard he’s a pretty good player.’

“So we kind of got going on him a little bit, and we were like, OK, what would we do with Julian? Is he a receiver? Is he a punt returner? Is he a defensive back? Is he maybe a guy that just can play multiple positions in the kicking game? So we went out and worked him out — how many times did we work you out? Two? So we sent one coach up there. And then we were like, well alright, let’s send someone else up there, because we weren’t really sure what to do with him. So, as it turned out, he came to the Patriots [as a seventh-round draft pick in 2009] and caught passes, which he hadn’t done before; returned kicks, which he hadn’t done before; and played defense, which he hadn’t done before; in addition to cover kicks and all the other things in special teams.

“Nobody has worked harder in my career than Julian to develop his skills and his craft in a position — other than, I’d say, Steve Neal — other than Julian, because he really didn’t have any background in it. We put him on defense and put him against good players in the slot, and obviously, he’s excelled as a receiver for a player that had no real college background doing that.

“I’d say the game — and we’ve talked about this — the game that really impressed me the most in watching Julian was the Ohio State game. He didn’t have a lot of blocking, and they were getting killed by Ohio State, but what you saw in that game was how competitive he was, how hard he was to tackle and how tough he was. Even though it was three, four touchdowns, whatever it was they were behind by, he played the game with an intensity honestly was hard for them to handle. They had a difficult time with him. So you could see the competitiveness on film and in the workouts.”

The MVP and Super Bowl title was likely even more special after missing all of last year with a torn ACL.

“It’s an incredible story, and coming back from the injury last year, you just see Julian in there every day competing against himself, trying to get better, trying to continue to rehab and regain the excellence at his position that he has come to do," said Belichick.

Related: Bill Belichick playfully calls out Julian Edelman during MVP press conference: He misquoted me