The New England Patriots have come to rely on the impact Julian Edelman provides in their offense. His presence will be especially important considering Tom Brady’s departure to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The tone of the Patriots’ receiving core is set by Edelman and it starts with his reliability out of the slot. In an offense that relies on short-yardage throws, his impact is particularly important and puts pressure on the defense in ways that opens up his supporting cast.
According to NFL Next Gen Stats, no receiver recording more receptions from the slot than Edelman (69) during the 2019 season. The next closest players were Cooper Kupp (62) and Larry Fitzgerald (59).
A key factor that comes into play for Edelman’s success out of the slot is his precise footwork. In an interview with ‘Good Morning Football’, NFL legend Jerry Rice expressed his belief that Edelman has the best footwork of any receiver in the league.
It will be interesting to see if Edelman can continue to produce such significant results out of the slot for the Patriots without Tom Brady. New England will be relying on an essentially completely unproven quarterback in Jarrett Stidham next season.
It seems Edelman could end up being relied on more by the Patriots out of the slot during the upcoming season to help simplify things for Stidham. Especially when considering the recent experiments of Antonio Brown and Josh Gordon failed and
Last season, Julian Edelman’s overall production featured totals of 100 receptions, 1,117 receiving yards, and six touchdowns for the Patriots. He continued to be one of the more productive receivers in the NFL overall, but clearly from the slot, in particular.
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