The New England Patriots received a C rating for their part in the 2014 NFL Draft, selecting players who are mediocre at best and far too inconsistent. The Patriots signed several undrafted free agents immediately following the NFL Draft, including a few tight ends and running backs.
Coach Bill Belichick has made some more roster moves this week, signing a few players to contracts, while releasing a few others. Here is an inside look at the roster moves made this week:
Patriots sign rookies to contracts:
The Pats signed center, Bryan Stork, who is a fourth round pick from Florida State, guard Jon Halapio a sixth round pick from Florida, corner back Jemea Thomas and defensive end Zach Moore to rookie contracts.
Zach Moore, sixth round pick (198th overall) was the first Patriots rookie to sign a contract with the team.
The Pats also signed rookie running back, James White. White has been brought in to help compete with the other stable of running backs.White will likely serve a special teams role on the team. He will likely be brought in to duplicate the role Danny Woodhead served during his tenure with the Patriots (2010-12) serving as a third-down back and pass catcher out of the backfield. The most important factor that plays into his potential career with the Patriots is his ball security issues. Ball security is job security according to White and he is not the only one with issues. Fellow fourth year lead back, Stevan Ridley lost five fumbles during the 2013 season and was benched for a selected period of time.
Unlike 2013, the Patriots had three relatively young running backs on their roster and one veteran, Legarrett Blount formerly of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who had an amazing second half of the season that lasted up until the AFC Championship loss to the Denver Broncos. The Patriots young running backs are likely to learn most under Stevan Ridley, the most experienced and vital back on the roster.
Patriots release two rookies:
The Patriots have released undrafted rookie linebacker, James Morris, a former star out of Iowa. Morris recorded over 400 tackles, 10.5 sacks and six interceptions during his college career at Iowa. He was likely brought in for competition and depth purposes and was likely to serve only a special teams role with the Pats. Morris had a stellar year in 2013, as the team captain finished with 107 tackles, eight sacks and four interceptions.
Tyler Beck, tight end out of Bowling Green was also released by the Patriots. Beck totaled He caught 25 receptions for 338 yards and four touchdowns during his four years at Bowling Green.
The Pats also released long stapper Charley Hughlett.