The New England Patriots open the 2016 regular season in 11 days, so we're profiling the owner of the No. 11 jersey, wide receiver Julian Edelman.
First off, here are some of Julian Edelman's measurables.
Size: 5-foot-11, 198 pounds
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College: Kent State
NFL experience: Seven seasons
Since being selected by the Patriots in the seventh round of the 2009 NFL Draft as a quarterback, Edelman has risen from anonymity to Tom Brady's favorite weapon, surpassing Wes Welker in the eyes of many Patriots fans because Edelman was instrumental in the team's Super Bowl XLIX victory. In 87 career games, Edelman has caught 327 balls for 3,434 yards and 21 touchdowns; he has also rushed for 200 yards on 27 handoffs.
Additionally, Edelman makes his mark on special teams in the punt return game. Sporting a 12.0 yards per return average over his career, Edelman is one of the best punt returns not just in the NFL today, but also in league history. Edelman's combined value as a star wide receiver and an elite punt returner gives the Patriots one of the most complete playmakers in football.
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Entering the 2016 season, Edelman figures to be Jimmy Garoppolo's top safety outlet when the going gets tough. There aren't many wideouts in the NFL who can cut on a dime like Edelman does to get open for his quarterback. Brady loves having Edelman at his disposal for a reason, and it's because he works so hard to gain separation.
After missing the back end of last season, Edelman is eager to put up some big numbers in 2016. Expect at least 70 receptions and something in the neighborhood of 900 yards and six, seven touchdowns for Edelman in his eighth NFL season.
Be sure to stop by Musket Fire tomorrow morning as we mark 10 days until kickoff by profiling the owner of the No. 10, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
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