After the final round of the draft concluded Saturday, the Patriots got busy signing undrafted free agents. An undrafted rookie has made New England’s final 53-man roster for 18 straight seasons. Here’s a look at some of their new additions:
⋅ Wide receiver/quarterback D’Eriq King, Miami: King played quarterback his entire college career of four seasons at Houston and two at Miami. He started just three games for the Hurricanes last year before suffering a season-ending shoulder injury. The 5-foot-8 King also worked out as a wide receiver leading up to the draft.
“I just want to keep playing football,” he said at Miami’s Pro Day.
⋅ Safety Brenden Schooler, Texas: Schooler started his college career as a wide receiver, amassing 43 catches for 661 yards and four touchdowns over four seasons at Oregon. During that time, he also dabbled as a defensive back. Schooler transferred to Texas in 2020 and officially switched to safety in 2021. In 12 games last season, he recorded a forced fumble, two pass breakups, and 50 tackles. At 6-foot-2 with a 78-inch wingspan, Schooler boasts good size.
⋅ Center Kody Russey, Houston: Russey played one season at Houston after transferring from Louisiana Tech. He has plenty of experience, starting 60 college games over the course of his college career.
⋅ Defensive tackle LaBryan Ray, Alabama: The Patriots didn’t draft any members of the Crimson Tide, but they still found a way to add an Alabama prospect. Ray was college teammates with defensive tackle Christian Barmore.
⋅ Linebacker DaMarcus Mitchell, Purdue: Mitchell started his career at Southwest Mississippi Community College and transferred to Purdue in 2020. As a pass rusher, he registered 4.5 sacks and 7 tackles for a loss last season.
⋅ Punter Jake Julien, Eastern Michigan: Julien has quite the leg. He is the only punter in Eastern Michigan school history to record two punts of 70-plus yards, and 37 of his punts traveled farther than 50 yards. Last season, Julien averaged a career-best 45.9 yards per punt.
Current Patriots punter Jake Bailey is entering the final year of his rookie contract.
⋅ Offensive lineman Liam Shanahan, LSU: Shanahan, who hails from Marlborough, Mass., started his college career at Harvard. He graduated from Harvard with a degree in economics and a minor in Celtic language and literature, before transferring to LSU for the 2020 and 2021 seasons.
During the summer while in high school and college, Shanahan was part of Fenway Park’s grounds crew.
Nicole Yang can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.