Julian Edelman wasn’t planning on being selected in the 2009 NFL Draft.
The former Kent State quarterback knew his draft chances weren’t great, and his agent began lining up free-agent inquiries from teams interested in signing Edelman after the draft.
In fact, Edelman already had his eyes set on one team in particular: the Green Bay Packers. In an excerpt from his new book, “Relentless: A Memoir by Julian Edelman,” the veteran wide receiver explained how he saw a clear fit within the Packers’ system and liked the idea of catching passes from Aaron Rodgers.
Then the New England Patriots stepped in.
The Patriots selected Edelman in the seventh round with the No. 232 overall pick. Edelman was shocked to be picked by New England in the first place, which made his first phone call with head coach Bill Belichick all the more nerve-wracking.
“I was nervous,” Edelman writes, as transcribed by Sports Illustrated. “I got outside and Coach Belichick gets on the phone and goes, ‘Hey, this is Coach Belichick. We are going to draft you. We really don’t know what you are going to play but we know you can play football. Nancy Meier (the Patriots’ director of scouting administration) will call you tonight to get you situated. Have a good one.'”
And as they say, the rest is history.
In 118 games with the Patriots, Edelman has hauled in 514 catches for 5,564 yards with 29 touchdowns. The converted-QB has become Tom Brady’s favorite target and was a key piece of New England’s last two Super Bowl wins.
Belichick was spot-on with his draft night hunch: Edelman most certainly can play football.
Thumbnail photo via Dan Powers/USA TODAY Sports Images
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