Julian Edelman surprised that the Patriots drafted him in 2009
During a recent radio interview, Patriots receiver Julian Edelman recounted his utter surprise – and delight – that New England drafted him back in 2009.
In an alternate universe, Super Bowl 53 MVP Julian Edelman might never have won all his championship hardware. Or if he did, it would have been while wearing the uniform of a team like the Chicago Bears, Pittsburgh Steelers, or San Francisco 49ers… what an eerie thought.
According to Edelman himself, who sat down for an on-air radio interview with HOT 97 in New York, the Patriots didn’t express the same level of interest in him prior to the 2009 NFL Draft that many other teams did. While they did work him out three times – as a running back, as a wide receiver, and as a special teams role player – they never invited him in for a visit afterward.
Via USA Today’s Henry McKenna, here’s what Edelman said exactly:
"“Well the Patriots came out. They worked me out three times. They worked me out with the running backs coach, a special teams coach and the receivers coach. After that, usually teams bring you in for a visit. That’s how the routine goes — you work out for a team, then they bring you in for a visit. All the teams I worked out for invited me for a visit, except the Patriots. So I was like, ‘Well, it looks like I’m going to be a Miami Dolphin.’ I guess they were trying to keep it under the radar or something, but they ended up coming out of the woodwork.”"
Edelman also documented how the Wildcat offensive package was all the rage back at the time of his drafting. A college trick formation of sorts where the center snapped the ball directly to a running back instead of the quarterback, Edelman recounted that many NFL teams were intrigued with his skill set and its potential transition to the pros in Wildcat packages.
“I was talking with a lot of teams and they didn’t know where to play me,” Edelman elaborated. “The Steelers wanted to play me at [defensive back]. The Niners came. Chicago came. They all said the same: ‘You played in the MAC [where] competition’s not that great. He’s never played the position. We don’t know what he can do.'”
With the gift of hindsight being 20/20, it now makes all the sense in the world that the Patriots wouldn’t bring Edelman in for a visit after working him out. New England head coach/general manager Bill Belichick is nothing if not discreet, and his decision not to zero in on Edelman was certainly a strategic gambit… and it most definitely paid off, as the former Kent State quarterback ended up falling perfectly to the Patriots with the 232nd pick of that draft.