The New England Patriots signed Louisville quarterback Malik Cunningham as an undrafted free agent shortly after the NFL Draft in April.
However, the Patriots mastermind Bill Belichick has another plan in mind for the electric Cunningham. Cunningham will be transitioning into a wide receiver during OTAs and minicamp.
Of course, this is not the first time that Belichick has transitioned a quarterback into a wide receiver. Former Kent State quarterback Julian Edelman was drafted in the 7th round of the 2009 NFL Draft. Belichick turned Edelman into a wideout and it worked out great as he was one of Tom Brady’s favorite targets.
While at Louisville, Cunningham had 9,660 career passing yards, 70 touchdowns and 29 interceptions. He also used his speed to his advantage like his predecessor Lamar Jackson rushing for 3,179 yards and 50 touchdowns. His 120 touchdowns in Louisville broke Jackson’s school record.
Cunningham has been reminded of Edelman as he’s begun his transition to wideout. But will he have the same success that Edelman had with a New England Patriots uniform?
Cunningham could be a huge piece in the future if he makes the Patriots
Edelman didn’t find immediate success in the NFL, catching one touchdown in his first three season and was mainly a return specialist.
I don’t think Cunningham will be starting immediately but I have no doubt that he’ll be starting on the New England Patriots in a season or two because he looks like he has the skill set to be a star receiver. Cunningham might be behind the speedy Marcus Jones if he wants to start returning kickoffs and punts.
Cunningham would have to get to the level of JuJu Smith-Shuster, DeVante Parker,rookie Kayshon Boutte, Kendrick Bourne and potentially DeAndre Hopkins if he’s going to be playing considerable time in the 2023 season, but some position transitions are harder than others.
This could make Cunningham be one of the Pats biggest steals of the 2020s if he’s able to excel at the wide receiver position.
It is possible that it could not go well here on the Patriots for Cunningham. There were rumors that Belichick was trying to do the same thing with former Miami Hurricanes QB D’Eriq King after signing him as a undrafted free agent.
However King lasted only a week in a Patriots uniform and he ended up playing for the DC Defenders of the XFL.
I am very excited to see what Cunningham can do if he makes it to the preseason and ultimately the regular season.