Patriots Search for Stars in Undrafted Free Agency
Monday, May 12, 2014
The New England Patriots continue to fill out their roster for training camp this summer, and while it may not garner 3 days’ worth of national TV coverage like the draft, the process for bringing in undrafted free agents is critical in team construction. Just look at the history.
Diamonds in the Rough
Adam Vinatieri is the most famous undrafted free agent in Patriots’ history, helping the team win 3 Super Bowls and making countless clutch kicks along the way.
Current starting center Ryan Wendell and guard Dan Connolly were both undrafted, and they comprise 40% of the taskforce asked to protect the face of the franchise, Tom Brady. Stephen Neal is another offensive lineman the Patriots signed off the street in the past.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis was an undrafted free agent out of Ole Miss, and the former Patriots running back ran for over 1,000 yards in the 2010-11 season. An undrafted free agent in 2008, Green-Ellis completed a fantastic class of UDFAs that also included Wendell, Connolly, and defensive back Kyle Arrington.
The Patriots have also had some success with undrafted players from other teams, notably Wes Welker, Joe Andruzzi, David Patten, and LeGarrette Blount, among others.
Last season’s crop of UDFA’s featured hits in punter Ryan Allen, defensive tackle Joe Vellano, and wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins, but was also mired by hyped additions that had disappointing results, namely receiver T.J. Moe and tight end Zach Sudfeld.
Here is the complete list of reported UDFA signings for the Patriots thus far.
- Roy Finch, Running Back from Oklahoma
- Stephen Houston, Running Back from Indiana
- Ja-Mes Logan, Wide Receiver from Mississippi
- Travis Beck, Tight End from Bowling Green
- Justin Jones, Tight End from East Carolina
- Asa Watson, Tight End from North Carolina State
- Deylan Buntyn, Defensive Tackle from North Carolina State
- Seali’l Epenesa, Defensive Tackle from UCLA
- Cameron Gordon, Linebacker from Michigan
- James Morris, Linebacker from Iowa
- Deontae Skinner, Linebacker from Mississippi State
- Malcolm Butler, Cornerback from Western Alabama
- Travis Hawkins, Cornerback from Delaware
- Jeremy Deering, Safety from Rutgers
- Tyler Ott, Long Snapper from Harvard
Additionally, nepatriotsdraft.com and NESN are reporting the following players were invited to Training Camp on a tryout basis.
- Kyle Harbridge, Running Back from St. Francis
- Tevin Hood, Defensive Tackle from Arizona
- Calvin Tonga, Defensive Tackle from Colorado State
- Taylor McCuller, Linebacker from West Texas A&M
- Jordan Love, Cornerback from Townson
Anthony Walters, Safety from Delaware
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