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Adams: 'Can't compare' Julian Edelman to Wes Welker

Where would the Patriots be without Julian Edelman?

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His 105 receptions on the season are more than New England's next two leading pass-catchers, Danny Amendola and Shane Vereen, combined. For an offense charged with replacing Wes Welker, Edelman's breakout campaign did the trick from a production standpoint, but at least one Denver defender says they aren't even close.

"I can't compare the two because Wes is -- he's something special," Broncos safety Mike Adams said Monday, per CSN New England. "He can jive up the ball and then speed out and have you off balance. Edelman, he doesn't do that. He's a one-speed guy. He doesn't have the same ability or the quickness that Wes has in the slot. I guess that is the main difference between them ... They're totally different players."

Welker -- aka Slot Ninja -- has 100 or more catches in five of his past seven campaigns; and he seamlessly shifted into the role of Peyton Manning's safety blanket this season in Denver, where the Patriots will play Sunday for a shot at the Super Bowl.

It was Amendola -- not Edelman -- who was seen as the primary beneficiary of Welker's exodus west, but our Making the Leap candidate has exceeded expectations. Edelman has seven-plus catches in nine games this season and led the NFL with 53 receptions over the last six weeks of the regular season.

All of this from a guy who once played quarterback at Kent State and called the transition to receiver "an emotional roller-coaster."

If New England leans on last week's blueprint, we're going to see much more of running back LeGarrette Blount than Edelman against Denver, but the fifth-year wide receiver is another example of an extremely well-coached Bill Belichick product.

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