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Patriots Sign Seven Undrafted Free Agents, Including A Perfect Bill Belichick Player From Miami

By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) -- The draft is the draft, but it's not the end of the work in adding young players to an NFL roster. And few teams enjoy the splendor of undrafted free agent season quite like the Patriots, who have had an undrafted free agent make the roster out of training camp for 18 years running.

With that in mind, here's the list of undrafted free agents signed by the Patriots after the draft concluded on Saturday evening.

Jake Julien, P, Eastern Michigan (source)
D'Eriq King, QB/WR/RB, Miami (source)
DaMarcus Mitchell, LB, Purdue (source)
LaBryan Ray, DT, Alabama (source)
Cody Russey, C, Houston (source)
Brenden Schooler, S, Texas (source)
Liam Shanahan, OL, Harvard (source)
Coby Tippett*, DB, URI

*Tippett -- the son of Andre Tippett -- received a minicamp invitation from the Patriots

The odds are always long for a UDFA to make a roster, but a couple of players stand out in this group as having a real possibility of earning a spot on the roster.

One would be Jake Julien, who figures to get a real shot at competing for the job with Jake Bailey, who's due to earn almost $4 million this season. Last year, UDFA kicker Quinn Nordin made the team out of training camp, thereby keeping the streak alive, even though he didn't play in any regular-season games, as Nick Folk did end up back with the team.

The other standout would have to be D'Eriq King, simply by virtue of his offensive versatility.

At Houston and then Miami, King threw more than 1,000 passes in college, completing 63.1 percent of them for 8,378 yards with 76 touchdowns and 19 interceptions. He also ran the ball 423 times for 2,055 yards and 32 touchdowns ... and he also caught 61 passes for 520 yards and three more touchdowns. He also returned kicks and punts in 2016. (Marcus Jones, the Patriots' third-round pick, likewise has notable versatility as a cornerback, returner, and receiver.)

Granted, he hasn't been a receiver, really, since the 2016 and 2017 seasons with Houston. But, well, the Patriots obviously have a history of successfully turning college QBs into effective receivers (hello, Julian Edelman). Whether King has that type of elite athleticism to succeed in the NFL? That remains to be seen. But the interest that Bill Belichick would have in such a player is easy to understand.

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