From NCAA Quarterback to NFL Wideout, Julian Edelman a Lock to Be Patriots’ Third Target

From NCAA Quarterback to NFL Wideout, Julian Edelman a Lock to Be Patriots' Third Target FOXBORO, Mass. — Think about how crazy this is: A little more than a year ago, Julian Edelman was a small-school quarterback who was trying to make the transition to wide receiver.

Now, on a Patriots team with potential Hall of Fame wide receiver Torry Holt and New England quasi-legend David Patten, Edelman is the only one of that trio with a locked-up roster spot.

It took a minute, but Edelman has finally gotten over the fact that he is surrounded by greatness at the receiving position. Granted, each player is at a different point in his career, but it's got to be nice to go to work every day and learn from the likes of Randy Moss, Wes Welker, Holt and Patten.

"It was at first," Edelman responded when asked if it's weird to be on the same team as a bunch of players he once looked up to as a fan. "But we’re a team now. You kind of get past that. You’re so busy focusing on trying to get better every day. But I was like that at first but kind of got away from it because they’re teammates, and they’re out here helping me and you forget about it."

Edelman had 37 receptions for 359 yards and one touchdown in 11 games as a rookie. He missed five regular-season games, including four with a broken forearm. With an extra year to learn the position and the playbook, the shifty wideout should definitely see his numbers spike in 2010, and he'll probably be a bigger asset in the return game, too.

With an evident amount of talent as well as obvious room for growth, Edelman figures to be an asset for the Patriots' offense for years to come. Holt and Patten, though, will be in a battle for a roster spot against Sam Aiken, Brandon Tate and rookie Taylor Price.

It's probably ideal to keep six wide receivers, and with Welker looking like he'll be ready for the season opener, two good players could wind up getting cut. So, for the time being, Edelman is trying to soak up every minute he's got with the older, more experienced players.

"They’re veterans, and they’ve played in a lot of important games and had a lot of experience" Edelman said. "They’ve played and had great numbers, so anytime you get to be around those kind of guys, along with Randy, along with Welk, you’re gaining their techniques and you’re watching them. You may be a different receiver, but you can take something different from them, and you can use it and bring it to your game."

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