Julian Edelman during the 2011 NFL season.
No. 11 New England Patriots
|Wide Receiver / Punt Returner|
|Date of birth:May 22, 1986|
|Place of birth: Redwood City, California|
|College: Kent State|
|NFL Draft: 2009 / Round: 7 / Pick: 232|
|Debuted in 2009 for the New England Patriots|
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 15, 2014
Julian Francis Edelman (born May 22, 1986), nicknamed Minitron is an American football wide receiver and punt returner for the New England Patriots. He was drafted in the seventh round of the 2009 NFL Draft by the Patriots. He played college football for Kent State and the College of San Mateo as a quarterback.
Edelman is notable for his versatility, having played both wide receiver and defensive back in 2011, and for his punt returns. Edelman holds the Patriots franchise record for longest punt return and the most punts returned for touchdowns; and, as of the start of the 2013 NFL season, the highest career punt return average among active players.
Edelman was born in Redwood City, California, the son of Angie and Francis Edelman. He has Jewish ancestry on his father's side, but was raised a Christian. More recently on a NFL Network interview, Edelman stated that he is Jewish. He was the quarterback for Woodside High School in Woodside, California. As a senior in 2004, he led the Wildcats to a 13–0 record. During his high school career, Edelman had 2,237 yards and 29 touchdowns passing, in addition to 964 yards and 13 touchdowns rushing.
After high school, Edelman spent a year at the College of San Mateo before transferring to Kent State University, where he majored in business management. At Kent State, Edelman was a three-year starter at quarterback. His senior year, Edelman was the Golden Flashes' leading passer, completing 56% of his passes (153 of 275 passes for 1,820 yards), throwing 13 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He was also their leading rusher, gaining 1,370 yards on 215 attempts (an average of 6.4 yards per carry) and scoring 13 touchdowns. His total offense broke Joshua Cribbs's single-season school record, set in 2003.
New England Patriots
Edelman was not invited to the 2009 NFL Combine. At his March 12 pro day, he ran the short shuttle in 3.91 seconds; the fastest time at the combine that year was 3.96 seconds. The New England Patriots, who had conducted private workouts with Edelman before the 2009 NFL Draft, selected him with the 27th pick of the seventh round (232nd overall), ahead of Michigan State quarterback Brian Hoyer, who joined the Patriots as a free agent. Several analysts suggested that the Patriots may have selected Edelman for his potential in a Wildcat formation. On July 16, 2009, Edelman signed a four-year contract with the Patriots that included a $48,700 signing bonus.
Edelman scored his first professional points on August 13, 2009, in a pre-season game with the Philadelphia Eagles, returning a punt 75 yards for a touchdown, and made the team over former Eagles wide receiver Greg Lewis, for whom the Patriots had given up a fifth-round draft pick in 2009.
Edelman missed the Patriots' Week 1 game against the Buffalo Bills with an ankle injury, but was activated for and made his first career start in the Patriots' 9–16 loss in Week 2 against the New York Jets, which was also the first game Wes Welker had missed since becoming a Patriot in 2007. Edelman led all receivers with eight receptions for 98 yards, and added 38 yards on two kickoff returns and 2 yards on a punt return, for a total of 138 all-purpose yards.
Edelman broke his arm in the Patriots' 59–0 rout of the Tennessee Titans, and did not accompany the Patriots on their trip to London to play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. At the time of his injury, Edelman was leading all rookies with 21 receptions. He returned with the Patriots' Week 10 game against the Indianapolis Colts, where he scored his first official NFL touchdown on a 9-yard reception from Brady.
When Welker was sidelined for the season after tearing his ACL and MCL against the Houston Texans, Edelman was once again called on to fill Welker's role; Edelman caught 10 of the 15 passes thrown to him for 103 yards, the first 100-yard game of his NFL career. He finished the regular season with 37 receptions for 359 yards and one touchdown. He also made 6 punt returns as well as 11 kickoff returns combining 304 yards in all on 17 returns.
In the Patriots' Wild Card playoff loss to the Baltimore Ravens, Edelman caught six passes from Brady for 44 yards, including both of the Patriots' touchdowns. Edelman became the first rookie to score two receiving touchdowns in one postseason game since David Sloan did so for the Detroit Lions in the 1995–96 season.
In the 2010 season, Edelman saw a decrease in playing time; through 15 games, having just four receptions for 14 yards. In the Week 17 game against the Miami Dolphins, with Welker, Deion Branch, and Aaron Hernandez inactive, Edelman capitalized with three receptions for a total of 72 yards, and also with a 94-yard punt return touchdown. It was the first punt return touchdown by a Patriot since Troy Brown returned one against the Carolina Panthers in the Week 17 finale of the 2001 season, and the longest punt return in Patriots franchise history, eclipsing an 89-yard return by Mike Haynes in 1976. Edelman also set a franchise record by averaging 15.3 yards per return, which was second in the league after the Bears' Devin Hester. For the 2010 season, Edelman played in 15 games with 7 receptions for 86 yards and 321 return yards on 21 punt return opportunities.
During the 2011 season, Edelman was used primarily as a kick and punt returner. During the Patriots' Week 10 game against the New York Jets, because of injuries to the Patriots' secondary, he was pressed into service as a defensive back during the fourth quarter; he earned his first tackle on defense by stopping running back LaDainian Tomlinson on a play in which Tomlinson injured his MCL.
During the Patriots' Week 11 game on Monday Night Football against the Kansas City Chiefs, he played defensive back in nickel and dime situations. He also returned a punt 72 yards for a touchdown, which helped him earn his first AFC Special Teams Player of the Week award. In Week 12 he was nominated for the NFL's "Hardest Working Man" for his Week 12 performance against the Philadelphia Eagles, in which he made an open-field tackle on Vince Young to prevent a touchdown. For the 2011 season, Edelman played 13 games with 4 receptions for 34 yards and 584 return yards on 40 kickoff-punt combined returning opportunities.
In the AFC Conference Championship Game, on January 22, 2012, against the Baltimore Ravens, Edelman played on 27 of 67 offensive snaps at wide receiver, catching one pass that converted a third down attempt, and 27 of 73 defensive snaps at cornerback, often covering the Ravens' Anquan Boldin; Edelman was credited with a forced fumble on the Ravens' final drive. The Patriots went on to win the AFC Championship but lose Super Bowl XLVI to the New York Giants.
Edelman's snap count increased in the first two games of the 2012 season, including a Week 2 home loss to the Arizona Cardinals in which he started over Wes Welker. After suffering an injury in the Patriots' Week 3 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, Edelman was inactive for the next three games. He then saw limited duty until the Patriots' record-tying Week 11 win against the Indianapolis Colts, in which he had a career day. Edelman caught five passes for 58 yards and a 2 yard touchdown, picked up 47 yards on a single rushing attempt on a reverse play, and returned two punts for a total of 117 yards. The first of those punt returns was a 68-yard punt return for a touchdown, giving Edelman three punt return touchdowns, tying the Patriots franchise mark. In total, Edelman had 105 yards of total offense and 222 all-purpose yards with 2 touchdowns.
Four days later, on Thanksgiving Day, Edelman scored two more touchdowns in the second quarter of the Patriots' victory over the New York Jets, in which they tied a franchise record with 5 touchdowns and 35 points in one quarter; he recovered a Jets fumble and returned it 22 yards on kick-off return, and then caught a 56-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady. Although he left early in the third quarter with a head injury, he nevertheless became the first player since the AFL-NFL merger with both a receiving touchdown and a return touchdown in consecutive games. In a game against the Miami Dolphins on December 2, Edelman broke his right foot and was placed on injured reserve. He would miss the remainder of the season. Overall in 2012, Edelman played in 9 games with 21 receptions for 235 yards and 301 return yards on 20 kickoff-punt combined return opportunities.
Edelman became a free agent after the 2012 season. He re-signed with New England on a one-year deal on April 10, 2013.
In Week 1 of the 2013 NFL season, Edelman scored both of New England's touchdowns in their 23–21 win over the Buffalo Bills. He also had three punt returns for a total of 32 yards, which gave him a career total of 75 returns for 975 yards. The last return officially made him the NFL's all-time leader in career punt return average,with 13.0 yards per return, breaking the 12.8-yard record held for over 60 years by the Chicago Bears' George McAfee.
Edelman had 9 catches on 11 attempts for 110 yards and two touchdowns in a historic week 12 Patriot home comeback victory; the Patriots overcame a 24 point halftime deficit to score 31 unanswered points and the winning field goal in the closing minutes of overtime. Edelman outperformed Denver's triplet star wide receivers combined. In Week 17 of the 2013 NFL season, Edelman became the third Patriots player in team history to catch over 100 passes in a season on Sunday, Dec. 29th in the Patriots' 34–20 win over the Buffalo Bills. 2013 became a breakout season for Edelman as he played in all 16 games making 105 receptions for 1,056 receiving yards and 35 punt return opportunities for 374 yards.
As of December 7, Edelman had started all 14 games for the Patriots. He has 85 receptions for 884 yards, as well as 3 touchdowns.  In a Week 9 matchup against the Denver Broncos, Edelman returned a punt 84 yards for his fourth career return touchdown, passing Troy Brown for the most punt return touchdowns in Patriots history.  In a week 14 match up against the San Diego Chargers, Edelman caught a pass from Tom Brady then broke two tackles and ran for 69 yards for a Touchdown, it would be the final touchdown of the game that led the New England Patriots to a 23-14 win.
Edelman has been given several nicknames by both fans and teammates, including 'Incredelman,' 'Minitron' (which was given to him by Tom Brady), and 'The Energizer Bunny,' given to him by cornerback Darrelle Revis, who said that Edelman "never stops going." Edelman himself has said his favorite given nickname is 'The Squirrel'. "Guys call me squirrel because one time on the sideline I was yelling 'Don't let me get squirrely out there.'"
|Year||Team||Games Played||Receptions||Targets||Yards||Average Yards per Reception||Longest Reception||Touchdowns||First Downs||Fumbles||Fumbles Lost|
Although both the Kent State and Patriots websites listed Edelman as 6'0", Edelman himself has stated that he is only 5'10", as was measured at his Pro Day. (The Patriots website changed his height to 5'10" during the 2010 preseason.) Moreover, even though Edelman is taller than Wes Welker, the similarities in their playing styles led their teammates to dub Edelman "Welker's Mini-Me."
During the 2013 season, after a spike in Edelman's production, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady gave him the nickname "Minitron," a play on "Megatron," the nickname for Detroit Lions' star wide receiver, Calvin Johnson.
- New England Patriots: Julian Edelman
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- NFL Events: Combine Top Performers
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