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Rookie Julian Edelman scored his first professional touchdown on a 75-yard punt return in the second quarter, a TD that proved decisive in the Patriots 27-25 win over the Philadelphia Eagles in Thursday night’s preseason opener.
Edelman, listed as a wide receiver on the Patriots roster, was drafted in the seventh round out of Kent State. As a college quarterback, Edelman led the nation in rushing yards by a QB with 1370, and passed for 1820 yards, including 13 touchdowns, while also occasionally lining up at safety and returning punts.
The former Golden Flash has good speed (4.51 in the 40 at his pro day workout) and excellent quickness, which should help ease the transition to slot receiver/punt return specialist in the NFL.
His unique set of skills has led some to speculate that he could be part of a “Wildcat” package. One wonders, however, if the team with the best QB in the league will waste time with a gimmick offense. As usual, only Bill Belichick knows for sure.
The Pats seem loaded at the receiver position, with Randy Moss, Wes Welker, Joey Galloway and Greg Lewis certain to make the team. Therefore, Edelman will probably only make the final cut if he continues to impress on special teams.
One thing’s for certain, the youngster is already on board with Patriot Speak. After the game, he told reporters that, “I’m there when coach needs me,” and that he was just “trying to help the team.” Looks like he will fit in nicely.