It’s become something of an annual tradition (or so it has felt like it) for the Patriots to find and keep at least one undrafted free agent on their active roster every year.
That’s a testament to the Patriots scouting staff, which diligently tracks college prospects throughout the season in order to project how they would fit into the team’s system.
This year, the team is currently carrying just seven players who went undrafted this April.
Here’s a brief look at how each has performed to this point.
Brandon Bolden, running back: The Ole Miss product looks like the best bet to stick around for a while, as he’s shown up in several drills. In fact, he looks to be in the running back competition mix. In the eyes of this scribe, he’s been superior to Shane Vereen so far.
Marcus Forston, defensive line: That the team has only had two days of padded practice makes it difficult to gauge the performances of linemen thus far, but Forston hasn’t done anything to catch my eye – positive or negative.
Justin Francis, defensive line: Training camp didn’t exactly start well for Francis, as colleague Mike Rodak reported that he failed his conditioning test and landed on the PUP list. Since returning, things have improved, as he’s flashed some explosiveness with the pads on.
Tyler Urban, tight end: Undrafted out of West Virginia, Urban was signed amidst the Patriots tight end shufflings earlier this offseason. He’s likely the low man on the tight end totem pole, at least for now. Alex Silvestro, who played defensive end last season, has made an admirably smooth transition.
Jeremiah Warren, offensive line: We had our eye on Warren based on the fact that he received the largest sum of guarantee money from the team, but he looks like he’s off to a slow start. During one-on-one drills against the defensive line, he looked like he was playing on skates during a couple of reps.
Darrion Weems, offensive line: Weems was signed on Friday, and has only suited up once in pads (he was not permitted to practice in full pads prior to Sunday in compliance with the NFL’s three day acclimation rule). What’s stood out most? His huge frame.
Markus Zusevics, offensive line: After injuring his pectoral muscle at the NFL Combine in February, Zusevics remains on the PUP list.