FOXBORO, Mass. — Julian Edelman’s first practice of the summer came Sunday, but he still was able to be of service to the New England Patriots in the first week and a half of training camp.
Edelman praised the Patriots’ young receivers Sunday, and he believes it’s his duty to help them acclimate to an offense in which he has seven years of experience.
“I tell them whatever they want to hear,” Edelman said. “I tell them what I would do in that situation. They’ve asked a lot of questions, and that’s part of my job, to help make this corps as best as possible. I’ll go down and we’ll talk about, ‘Hey, I would have done this; I would have stacked a little more. Hey, give a little something here,’ you know, those types of things.
“I remember what it was like when I was a rookie. You have so many things going through your head. You’re in a new area, you’re new here, you’re new there, so it’s good to have a little help sometimes.”
The Patriots selected Malcolm Mitchell in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft and Devin Lucien in the seventh round. Mitchell is a lock for the 53-man roster because of his draft position, while Lucien is battling Keshawn Martin, Nate Washington, Aaron Dobson, Chris Harper and DeAndre Carter for a roster spot.
“Everyone’s competing hard,” Edelman said. “Everyone’s working hard in the classroom. They’re doing it in the drills, and it’s translating in the team periods, so anytime there’s more competition in any position, it’s just going to push guys to be better.
“We have guys going out there and making plays, you have Harp (Harper), you’ve got D.C. (Carter), you’ve got Hoags (Chris Hogan), A.D. (Dobson) is doing real well. Dev (Lucien) going in there and being a rookie, it’s tough for him, but he’s continuing to try to get better. Malcolm, he’s shown some stuff, and Slate (Matthew Slater), just being a veteran. You’ve got a bunch of guys out there, Nate Washington as well, can’t forget him, Keshawn. Every guy has worked hard, and every guy has done good things. My job is not to go out there and evaluate them. My job is to go out there and compete with them, so I’m looking forward to that chance.”
Edelman, Hogan and Danny Amendola are expected to be the Patriots’ top three receivers in 2016, though Mitchell or any of the other young receivers could make a push for playing time over Hogan or Amendola. The Patriots have much better receiver depth than they did in 2015, when Harper made the initial 53-man roster as an undrafted free agent after injuries ravaged the position.
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images
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