Julian Edelman has always been a winner. Whether it was leading his Woodside Wildcats to a perfect 13-0 record as a senior or making the game clinching TD catch in Super Bowl XLIX, Edelman has always put his heart and soul into this game.
After high school, Edelman was the quarterback and three year starter at Kent State. In his senior year, Edelman was the leading passer and rusher for the Golden Flashes. After breaking the total offense record for a single player, Edelman was not invited to the 2009 NFL Combine. At the Kent State Pro Day, Edelman amazed with his speed and mental toughness. The Patriots saw the potential in Edelman and signed him to a four year, entry level deal after selecting him in the 7th round. Edelman was mainly used as a punt and kick returner up until the 2013 season. After returning on a one year deal, Edelman played in all 16 games, catching 105 balls for 1,056 yards and 6 touchdowns in the 2013 season. Edelman signed a 4 year, $17 million deal following the 2013 season, cashing out with the team that originally took a chance on him.
After another solid regular season, Edelman left everything on the field for the Super Bowl. After being noticeably shaken up following a crushing hit from Kam Chancellor, Edelman persevered and caught the game-winning touchdown pass. Originally, the Patriots brought Edelman back to be the replacement for Wes Welker. Fortunately for the Patriots, he has exceeded those expectations tenfold.
So now lets get to the point: How did 31 other teams pass on Julian Edelman?
Here is an excerpt of Edelman's 2009 NFL Scouting Report:
We see this so frequently in pro sports. If someone does not match a certain height or weight requirement, they are immediately written off. As Boston sports fans, we should know this extremely well. Tom Brady, Doug Flutie and Dustin Pedroia are two of the many known athletes that have been doubted because of their physical features. Fortunately for the Patriots, the NFL scouts cannot rip open a guy's chest and check his heart. We often see guys, such as Josh Gordon, Aaron Hernandez, and Ray Rice, that have phenomenal raw talent but cannot control themselves off the field. At the end of the day, you can have as much talent as you want, but unless you have the willpower to control yourself off the field and the mental toughness to prove doubters wrong, you will not make it in professional sports.
Thank you, Julian Edelman, for showing kids and adults alike that if you have the right attitude, then you can succeed in whatever you do.
by Pete Packowski @Pete_BBS