Welker sees Finnegan comparison

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Success in the NFL wasn't handed to either Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker or Rams cornerback Cortland Finnegan.

Finnegan, coming out of small-school Samford, was selected in the seventh round of the 2006 draft by the Tennessee Titans, for whom he eventually became an All-Pro player.

Welker was overlooked entirely out of college, as no NFL team was willing to make a draft investment in the Texas Tech receiver back in 2004.

But much has changed since then, and on Sunday, the two will square off as the Patriots play the Rams in London. Welker, who doesn't recall facing Finnegan previously, is anticipating seeing quite a bit of the standout cornerback lined up across from him.

"Yeah, he's their nickel guy," he said of facing Finnegan. "Usually he comes into the slot, which is where I play, so yeah."

On Wednesday, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady drew his own comparison between Finnegan and Welker.

"You know, he competes his butt off and he's smart, catches the ball well," Brady said of Finnegan. "He's a seventh-round pick, so you just are always fighting for your life out there. Even though he's had a lot of success, you see he wants to continue to get better and improve and he's still a young player. I have a lot of respect for him. He plays really hard. Wes [Welker] is very much the same way. Wes plays his butt off too, so it’s kind of our strength against one of their strengths."

Welker agreed with Brady's assessment.

"Yeah, a little bit," he continued. "Obviously he's a great player, and he does a really great job in the slot. I'll definitely have my hands full."