By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — The 2019 NFL Draft concluded late Saturday afternoon, but as everybody knows, the Patriots’ work never ends there.
The team, as it does every year, got to work to sign a number of undrafted free agents over the weekend. Here’s a roundup of which players the Patriots added to the squad after the draft concluded.
Malik Gant, safety, Marshall
Let’s start with the guy who had arguably the most exciting Twitter clip of the entire draft weekend, safety Malik Grant out of Marshall. Why talk about him when you could just watch this clip?
Tremendous clip. Well-edited, too, as it took until about the third view to fully realize what happened. (The picture above of him sticking a ball carrier in the sternum is solid, as well.)
In any event, Gant took more snaps in college than just that one. He’s coming off a season with 95 tackles, with nine of those being tackles for a loss, with one sack and two interceptions. At 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, he provides some youth at a position where the starters (Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung) are getting a little long in the tooth.
(Source: Mike Reiss)
Nick Brossette, running back, LSU
The Patriots drafted Sony Michel in the first round last year, and they drafted Damien Harris in the third round this year. But they added to the running back stable with Nick Brossette out of LSU.
The 221-pound back saw limited playing time in his first three years in Baton Rouge, with his freshman season ending due to a torn ACL. But as a senior he rushed for 1,039 yards and 14 touchdowns on 240 rushing attempts. He ranked seventh in the SEC in rushing yards and third in the SEC in rushing touchdowns for the season. In the TD category, he trailed only Texas A&M’s Trayveon Williams (drafted in the sixth round) and Kentucky’s Benny Snell Jr. (drafted in the fourth round).
Fun fact: Brossette is actually a native of Baton Rouge, and he shined on the gridiron for Baton Rouge’s University High School. There, he scored … a preposterous 141 touchdowns in four varsity seasons.
Jakobi Meyers, wide receiver, N.C. State
The Patriots made a big addition to their wide receiving corps with their top overall pick on Thursday night in N’Keal Harry out of Arizona State, but it’s a group that still could use some more bodies for training camp. The Patriots addressed that need with Jakobi Meyers out of N.C. State.
Meyers is on the bigger side at 6-foot-2, 203 pounds, and he steadily increased his output over his three seasons on the field for the Wolfpack. That culminated with a 93-catch, 1,047-yard, four-touchdown season as a junior last year. As a sophomore the year prior, he caught 63 passes for 727 yards and five touchdowns.
Per his NFL.com draft bio, Meyers was a three-sport star who redshirted as a quarterback, but was moved to receiver. The Patriots have found decent success in another converted QB at the receiver position.
(Source: Adam Caplan)
Xavier Ubosi, wide receiver, UAB
Another tall receiver, Ubosi’s 6-foot-3 has him tied with Demaryius Thomas and Maurice Harris as the tallest in the Pats’ receiving group.
Ubosi didn’t make a ton of catches last year for the Blazers, but he certainly made the most of each one. On 35 receptions, Ubosi managed to gain 837 yards, good for a 23.9-yard average per reception. That was good enough to rank No. 1 in all of college football. He also found the end zone eight times.
His collegiate career ended with a ridiculous showing against Northern Illinois in the Boca Raton Bowl, when he caught seven passes for 224 yards and three touchdowns in a 37-13 win. That game, plus a comical 196 yards and two touchdowns on four catches against Rice, accounted for more than 50 percent of Ubosi’s receiving yards and 62.5 percent of his touchdowns last season.
(Source: Terez A. Paylor)
Ryan Davis, wide receiver, Auburn
Finishing out the wide receiver additions is Ryan Davis, who had a much better junior season than senior season for the Tigers. In 2017, he caught 84 passes for 815 yards and five touchdowns. He followed that up in 2018 with a 69-catch, 546-yard, 1-touchdown season.
At 5-foot-9, Davis would fit with the Patriots in the slot, if he’s able to make the team.
(Source: Ryan Davis)
Andrew Beck, tight end, Texas
The Patriots surprised and disappointed some fans by not drafting any tight ends this year, in the wake of Rob Gronkowski’s retirement. But the Patriots did make an addition on the undrafted free agent market, picking up the big-bodied Andrew Beck out of Texas.
At 6-foot-3, 255 pounds, Beck is a people mover, but he did catch 28 passes for 281 yards and a pair of scores last season, a year after he missed a full season due to a broken foot.
(As for the rest of the Patriots’ plans at tight end, don’t forget about last year’s seventh-round pick, Ryan Izzo. He spent all of last year on IR but could be ready to contribute with a year of the Pats’ system under his belt. The duo of Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Matt LaCosse might be enough to keep the Patriots afloat at the position for a year, too.)
(Source: Derek Warehime)
Terez Hall, LB, Missouri
The Patriots also didn’t draft any linebackers, but they picked up Terez Hall as a UDFA out of Missouri. He averaged 75.5 tackles over the past two years, and he’s coming off a five-sack, one-interception senior season for the Tigers.
(Source: Mike Reiss)
The Patriots also signed a trio of offensive linemen.
Tyler Gauthier, center, Miami (source: EnterSports Management)
Calvin Anderson, tackle, Texas (source: Calvin Anderson)
Tyree St. Louis, tackle, Miami (source: Tom Pelissero)
Tyree St. Louis is a 6-foot-5, 314-pound tackle with starting experience on both the left and right side who earned honorable mention All-ACC honors last year. Calvin Anderson is also 6-foot-5 but is a bit lighter, at 292 pounds. Anderson earned honorable mention All Big-12 for his one season at Texas, after transferring from Rice. The Patriots must have been exclusively shopping for 6-foot-5 linemen in the UDFA pool, because sure enough, Tyler Gauthier is 6-foot-5 as well.
Considering the Patriots drafted tackle Yodny Cajuste in the third round and interior lineman Hjalte Froholdt in the fourth, it appears as though the team is looking to restock its depth on the line with some youthful options.
In total, the Patriots drafted 10 players and added another 10 via the undrafted free agent route. Here’s how the Patriots went about adding those 20 players, by positional grouping:
And to prove this isn’t all just a waste of breath, here’s a look at some of the UDFAs who have proven very valuable for the Patriots during the Bill Belichick era.
Cornerback Malcolm Butler
Center David Andrews
Defensive lineman Adam Butler
Punter Ryan Allen
Cornerback J.C. Jackson
Cornerback Jonathan Jones
Running back Brandon Bolden
Running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis
Offensive lineman Ryan Wendell
Offensive lineman Stephen Neal
Going back a bit further, kicker Adam Vinatieri was an undrafted free agent for the Pats in 1996. And though he was not an original signee of the Patriots, receiver Wes Welker went undrafted but carved out a nice little NFL career for himself.
The point is, with the NFL draft being an inexact science for even the smartest NFL teams, it’s possible and even likely that at least one of the 10 players signed to the Patriots ends up contributing on Sundays.