The Patriots have been blessed with talent over the years. They’ve had big names such as Randy Moss, Corey Dillon, and others come through their organization. Then of course, there’s the “no names” that come through and walk out as legends. I was scrolling through Twitter the other day and saw one of CGS newest podcasts, Small State Big Takes, put this out.
Wes Welker > Julian Edelman.
Anyone who disagrees can come on the @SmallStateTakes podcast as a guest and present their case for Edelman as the better #Patriots WR. Should you choose to attempt winning an argument where many have failed before you, remember this: pic.twitter.com/tfLXsgPSFU
— Small State Big Takes Podcast (@SmallStateTakes) June 18, 2020
Naturally, there was a lot of commotion about this one. You’re putting up Wes Welker against Julian Edelman. These are two of the best WR’s to come out of the Patriots organization. So it got me talking with fellow CGS writer Brent Buckley about this exact debate. So now, I’ll give the edge on a few categories and let you, the CGS readers/fans, decide who you’d want between the two.
Better Peak: Welker
If we’re talking who was better at their peak, you have to take Welker on this one. Welker had five seasons of over 100 receptions in his six year Patriots career. The one season he didn’t? He had 86. You can’t take that away from Welker. Sure, he made a big drop in a Super Bowl. But regular season wise, Welker was as reliable as they come for Tom Brady and crew.
Better Regular Season/Award Winner: Welker
Wes Welker racked up the accolades with the Patriots. He was selected to five Pro Bowls and was a First-Team All-Pro twice. Julian Edelman has never been to a Pro Bowl in his Patriots career. In terms of production, Welker has had five years of over 100 receptions compared to Edelman’s two. Don’t get me wrong, Edelman had some great years in the regular season with the Patriots. But Welker was just on another level.
Better Playoff Production: Edelman
This category can be interpreted a few different ways. But, Edelman has more playoff receptions than Welker. Obviously, he has more rings than Welker. But the fact is that Edelman showed up when the stakes mattered the most. Welker did have a huge 2007 postseason with the Pats. But Edelman had over 20 receptions in the whole playoffs on three different occasions (2014, 2016, 2018). And honestly, Edelman probably would’ve had a 4th postseason like that in 2017 had he not been hurt all year.
More Clutch Player: Edelman
This category should easily go to Edelman. Like I mentioned before, the drop in the Super Bowl KILLED the Patriots in 2011. Catch that pass and you’re probably on your way to your 4th Super Bowl win at the time. Edelman had clutch catches in all three Patriots Super Bowl titles from 2014-2018. The Seahawks Super Bowl go ahead touchdown? Courtesy of Julian Edelman. The miraculous catch against Atlanta? Very lucky, but it was Edelman again. 10 receptions for 141 yards and a Super Bowl MVP award against the Rams in 2018? You guessed it, Edelman did it again! The connection Brady and Edelman had was special. Brady and Welker’s was very strong too, don’t get that confused. But game on the line, give me Edelman.
Welker hasn’t played in the NFL since 2015. Edelman is entering his age 34 season and still looks primed to have another effective season. At age 33, Edelman had a 100 reception season. Welker was productive in his age 33 season with 64 receptions, but nowhere near as close as Edelman. 2020 will be big as Edelman enters his age 34 season. If Edelman has another huge season, then the longevity argument will belong 100% to him. If he doesn’t, then Welker creeps back up. For now, give me number 11.
People forget that Bill Belichick was so confident in Julian Edelman that he was willing to let Wes Welker walk. You have to think of it this way. If Wes Welker was more of a priority for the Patriots to re-sign, they would’ve found a way to get the deal done. Edelman could fill the Welker role easily and look at the results years later. Just saying.
In Conclusion/My Pick
As much as I love Wes Welker, I’m going with Julian Edelman in the debate. The clutch play and longevity factors were decisive in my decision. Wes Welker was great with the Patriots, don’t get that confused or misinterpret that statement. But with the game on the line and at this point in both of their lives, I want Edelman. I want to hear your opinions on the matter. Tell me I’m dead wrong and don’t know football. Give me a different perspective I never thought of before. Either way, let’s talk about it. Enjoy your weekend everyone and stay safe!
Stats courtesy of pro-football-reference.com
Feat. Image Courtesy of http://www.patspulpit.com/
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-Al Nahigian (@BigAl2793)