Nine days after the final round of the 2022 NFL Draft, the New England Patriots have officially signed the rookie free agent class. The proper announcement was made on Monday, and it contained no real surprises: it was already known that all eight players listed had agreed to join the squad.
However, pen has now been put to paper and the next eight players can now officially call themselves the Patriots.
CB Devin Haveford: Hafford, a 6-year-old who has spent his college career at Tarlton State, presents a good size at 6 feet 0 and 195 pounds. He had eight turnovers as a 2021 senior – six interceptions, two faltering recoveries – and scored one goal. Given the Patriots’ record with unpolished corner backs, he’ll be a player you should keep an eye on this summer.
B. Jake Julian: A Canadian-born gambler who spent five seasons in Eastern Michigan, Julian averaged 43.4 yards per kick during his career. The right footer will join Jake Bailey as the only two players on the New England roster. He’s facing an uphill climb to beat the former All-Pro but the economy is working in his favour: His salary cap will be well below Bailey’s $4.1 million.
QB D’Eriq King: The Patriots declared King their quarterback, and he played the position during his six-year college career in Houston and Miami. However, at 5 feet 9 and 196 pounds, he appears to be a realistic candidate to go from quarterback to wide receiver upon joining the Patriots. He’s got some experience on the field, too: King has 61 passes for 520 yards and three touchdowns in college.
LB Darcus Mitchell: Formerly at Southwest Mississippi University, Mitchell moved to the defensive edge upon arriving in Purdue in 2020. In his two years making boilers, he scored 5.5 sacks and three forced attempts. With a relatively light New Englander on the edge, he should get plenty of opportunities to prove himself.
DL Labrian Ray: Playing five seasons at the University of Alabama under Nick Saban’s confidant Bill Belichick, Ray joined the NFL as a running player who has scored only six sacks and 13.5 tackles to lose in his collegiate career. He has some good height at 6-foot-5 but weighs only 284 pounds; It stands out as a depth option in the 3/5-tech final point behind Dietrich Wise Jr. and Henry Anderson and sixth-round rookie Sam Roberts.
C Russian Cody: The 6-foot-2, 292-pound Rousey spent his first five seasons at Louisiana Tech before moving to Houston in 2021. He started 60 games over six seasons, and was the second senior team in the conference. The Patriots made some big investments along their internal offensive line in the draft, but Rossi will get a chance to carve out a deep role.
S Brenden Schouler: Schouler has an interesting background, having played a wide receiver and safety role during his six-year college career. The 6-foot-2, 206-pounder had 55 career shots between periods in Oregon and Texas, and also scored 141 combined tackles. He primarily plans as a special team at the next level.
OL Liam Shanahan: Shanahan, a Massachusetts native, returns home after two seasons at LSU. He started his college career at Harvard, where he started 30 games over three seasons and was named the team’s offensive player in 2019. In Baton Rouge, he started 23 more games and was a member of Tiger’s entire academic team in 2021. He plans to compete with Cody Rossi. For a deep spot along New England’s inner O line.
The eight UDFA Patriots signing players will join the ten team picks plus any test players — Rhode Island’s Kobe Tibbett among them — at the rookie mini camp later this week. The camp, which gives youngsters their first up-close look at life in the NFL, is scheduled to take place at Gillette Stadium from May 13 to May 15.