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Can Julian Edelman Ever Match Wes Welker's Production?

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The Patriots wide receiver will always be linked to his predecessor- but will he ever reach his production on the field?

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

It's not fair to compare Julian Edelman to Wes Welker anymore. While the former short, shifty, slot receiver replaced the latter, Edelman's function is different.

Historically, Welker would spend 70-80% of his time in the slot. Due to Edelman's size, the former college quarterback spends over half of his time lined up outside. As Bill Belichick has noted, Edelman doesn't play like Welker; he's more of a Troy Brown type.

Still, it's inevitable that the comparisons will be made and I was just thinking to myself the following question:

I left this open-ended. Do you think Edelman can ever match Welker's single season output? Or his six-season stretch in New England? Do you think Welker benefit from having Randy Moss, while Edelman's had to fight for targets?

Edelman has become a New England folk hero, but it's impressive to note that five out of Welker's six seasons all out-produced the best Edelman year, in both yards and receptions. Do you think Edelman will ever be able to notch a 110 reception, 1,200 yard season that Welker produced like clock work?

Give your thoughts in the comments. I'll leave mine. Here are the responses I received on Twitter.

The "No, Edelman won't match Welker because Wes had a favorable situation" Group

The "To be fair, the situations weren't too different" Group

The "I think Edelman can and will match Welker's output" Group

*crickets*