With 70 catches this season, wide receiver Julian Edelman has proved himself to be among the indispensable pieces of the Patriots offense.
The former college quarterback had an unusual path to his current success. He was an under-the-radar prospect coming out of Kent State whom the Patriots worked out to test his hand as both a change-of-pace running back and a punt returner.
As it turns out, the Patriots used the 232nd pick in the 2009 draft to select Edelman, starting his transition from signal-caller to receiver/returner, with some work on defense along the way.
His 2013 season has been his best by far, and with his contract set to expire after this season, Edelman should be in line for a nice payday.
In a visit with The MMQB's Peter King on his podcast, Edelman dissected some of the build-up to the draft and also how close he was to not becoming a Patriot.
With the picks winding down in the seventh round, Edelman's agent began fielding calls from teams about signing a free agent contract if he were to go undrafted.
He got far enough along in the process to settle on a team.
"It was going to be the Packers, it was going to be the Green Bay Packers," he said. "I don't know why, [but] my agent thought it was the best fit."
But before Edelman and his agent could proceed with formally agreeing to terms with Green Bay, they had to let the draft process conclude.
As his agent reminded him, "You watch out, the Patriots still have a pick."
We all know what happened from there, as Edelman became yet another one in a long list of value picks made by the Patriots since Bill Belichick became the head coach.
To listen to "The MMQB Podcast With Peter King," CLICK HERE.