New England Patriots legend Julian Edelman might just be a genius at this whole scouting thing. After all, it’s a little bit easier when all you have to do is target someone who plays exactly like you from a school your coach worships.
Bill Belichick and the Patriots’ player development team have clearly entered the 2022 NFL Draft cycle targeting wide receivers to help supplement Mac Jones’ path forward — or, at least that’s what their PR arm wants you to believe.
Word leaked just after their Combine arrival that the team was meeting with three first-round wideout options. Alabama’s Jameson Williams has spent plenty of time advocating for himself, claiming his recovery is ahead of schedule. Fellow Crimson Tide star John Metchie has been outspoken enough to ping Jones as a potential great fit/reunion.
Now, another Alabama star has caught Edelman’s attention by saying all the right things.
Shifty master of space Slade Bolden, in one fell swoop, name-dropped Edelman, reminded everyone he’s Mac Jones’ roommate, and brought Bill O’Brien/Wes Welker into the equation. Put simply, the Edelman/Belichick hybrid GIF is officially intrigued.
Patriots legend Julian Edelman wants Alabama’s Slade Bolden in 2022 NFL Draft
First Andy Isabella asking out of Arizona, now this?! Patriots fan stereotypical joy overload!
All Bolden does is get open, and he does so at 5-11 and 195 pounds out of the slot. It doesn’t take Ernie Adams to discern that there might be a clear fit here.
When asked specifically about what he took from Edelman’s game, Bolden opened up:
"“Julian Edelman, for sure. Just the way he played the game, how he worked, his mindset going in — you can’t guard me, you can’t stop me, I’m going to catch everything. That kind of mindset, I kind of see myself being that kind of person. I try to emulate that the best I can.”"
Bolden’s underrated junior year resulted in 42 receptions (nearly double his previous high under Jones’ regime), 408 yards, and three touchdowns. A lot of short burst. A lot of easy gains. And a lot of Patriots football.
Certainly, it seems like there could be a rivalry developing between the Bama wideouts for who can make the clearest case to join the Pats — but why not all three?
When Bolden shows up to the Combine’s final day with a fully-grown Edelman beard, the game will really be on.
Anything to be a part of the next generation of Patriots football!