The Patriots became the latest team to announce their undrafted free agent class. Here are the eight UDFAs Bill Belichick‘s squad is bringing in:
New England focused on just a few positions with its class, but the team has a more complex role planned for King, who delivered a couple of standout seasons while at Houston and Miami. A dual-threat quarterback who stands just 5-foot-9, King accounted for a whopping 50 touchdowns in 2018 with the Cougars; he threw 36 TD passes (compared to just six INTs) and added 14 on the ground in a 674-yard rushing season.
King, who also caught 58 passes as a Houston underclassman before moving to quarterback full-time, chose the Patriots due to their interest in deploying him in myriad ways. Any Julian Edelman comparisons are obviously unfair, but the Pats’ successful QB-to-WR convert only caught one pass during his time college. King is coming off an injury-truncated season, playing in just three games.
“I talked to [Patriots player personnel director] Matt Groh, and he was excited. I’m thankful for the opportunity. He told me I’ll do a little bit of everything — receiver, quarterback, running back — whatever I can do to stick,” King said, via ProFootballNetwork.com’s Aaron Wilson, who adds the Bills, Cowboys and Seahawks showed interest as well.
Russey, who transferred to Houston last year after five seasons at Louisiana Tech, will receive a nice chunk of his rookie salary guaranteed. The Pats are guaranteeing the UDFA O-lineman $210K, Pro Football Focus’ Doug Kyed tweets. Russey was a rare 60-start college footballer; he lined up at center for the Cougars last season. The other center in this eight-man contingent, Shanahan became a two-year LSU starter after transferring from Harvard. These two snappers join longtime starter David Andrews and veteran backup James Ferentz in New England.
One of George Karlaftis‘ edge-rushing partners at Purdue, Mitchell will receive $75K guaranteed, Kyed adds (on Twitter). Mitchell recorded 4.5 sacks with the Boilermakers last season. Schooler yo-yoed between wide receiver and safety while at Oregon and Texas, while Julien was one of many in the 2022 UDFA class to use his COVID-19 extra year of eligibility. He punted in 54 games at Eastern Michigan and was a recent Canadian Football League draftee. Julien joins Jake Bailey as Patriot punters.