Former Kent State quarterback Julian Edelman’s pro possibilities continue to look promising. With the growing popularity of the “Wildcat offense” in the NFL, Edelman could give teams an athlete who is experienced playing quarterback, with running back type moves and explosion. Being able to be a weapon passing, running or receiving, Edelman has the ability to make a team very happy someday. The California native will try to follow in the footsteps of former Kent State quarterback Josh Cribbs, who is now one of the best overall football players on the Cleveland Browns. Edelman, like Cribbs, is looking to make the transition from quarterback to wide receiver.
Edelman really impressed at his pro day workout in the Kent State Field House. Edelman ran a 4.51 second 40 yard dash, which would have topped all quarterbacks at the NFL Combine in February and placed him in the top 15 among receivers. Edelman’s times of 3.91 seconds in the short shuttle and 10.74 in the long shuttle would have been the fastest times recorded at the Combine, regardless of position. NFL people asked him to run the short shuttle again because they didn’t believe the number and Edelman actually ran it even faster the next time. “He’s a really skilled guy, similar to (Antwaan) Randle El and Seneca Wallace. He can play ‘Wildcat,’ return kicks, and he may be the next Wes Welker as a wide receiver,” a league insider said.
Edelman’s versatility was on full display during his senior season at Kent State. Edelman led the country in rushing yards by a quarterback with 1,370 that included eight games of 100 yards or more. He also passed for 1,820 yards. If that wasn’t enough, Edelman also began lining up as a safety on the punt team and for the last few games of the season even returned punts. It’s not very usual to see a college quarterback return punts but after watching Edelman play for several years, one realizes he’s not a usual player.
Edelman has been a busy man this spring with private workouts and visiting with teams, which leads people to believe he is a priority free agent player. The Cleveland Browns have been the most recent team to work out Edelman, coming to Kent on April 23. The Chicago Bears visited Kent in early April and that led to him flying to Chicago to work out again for the team on April 13. That was followed by trips to Miami and San Francisco during the same week. The New England Patriots have also been in town to take a look at him. The Green Bay Packers also worked Edelman out during his pro day. The Dallas Cowboys are another team that has shown interest in his services. Edelman was a guest on ESPN radio station 103.3 FM in Dallas at the end of March.
Former Akron quarterback Charlie Frye has been working out with Edelman at the Zips’ indoor practice facility. Frye comments, “He reminds me of Josh Cribbs, but he’s a better receiver.” Frye’s former coach at Akron J.D. Brookhart will certainly not miss game planning against Edelman. Before the Akron – Kent State game last season he said, “The Edelman kid just flat out scares you. I watched Kent vs. Ball State tape. They had to put a spy on him, and the kid was not very effective. The kid’s Houdini, he really is. All the hits he takes, you got defenders running into each other.”
We will see what Edelman’s future holds this weekend with the NFL Draft taking place on April 25 and 26.