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Since joining the Patriots in 2012, the former college defensive end has carved out a nice role for himself as a dependable blocker in New England’s rushing attack and a sometimes target of QB Tom Brady in the passing game. Recently, his efforts in the backfield helped open up holes for 1,000-yard rusher LeGarrette Blount en route to the Patriots’ fifth Super Bowl championship. Brady once called Develin “the best fullback in the NFL.”
Two other players worth mentioning – and watching – in the coming weeks and months: wide receiver Austin Carr out of Northwestern, and tight end Jacob Hollister from Wyoming. Not that others won’t have equal chances to make it. They will.
Given the current depth chart situation, I’m going to say that linebacker, defensive back, and tight end might be the positions with the best chances to stick. I’ll be paying particular attention this spring and summer to linebacker Harvey Langi, for whom the Patriots reportedly overpaid to win his signature on a contract, beating out a number of other clubs who were interested in him. But I’m also curious to see which unheralded names might stand out in a positive way over the next few months, because someone always does.
Based on signing money, the early favorite to land a coveted spot on the 2017 New England Patriots jersey china might have to be linebacker Harvey Langi of Brigham Young. The Patriots basically paid him like a draft pick, giving him a six-figure base salary plus a $15K signing bonus as incentive to keep him from going elsewhere. Langi is versatile – he can play inside, come off the edge and even fill in at fullback. You know how the Patriots crave versatility, right?
Just before Saturday’s fourth round kicked off the Patriots announced they had made yet another deal, this one with Kansas City to acquire tight end James O’Shaughnessy and a sixth-round pick (216 overall) for a fifth-round pick (183 overall). The 6-4, 245-pound O’Shaughnessy entered the NFL as a fifth-round pick in 2015 out of Illinois State. He has played in 23 regular-season games, totaling eight catches for 86 yards for the Chiefs. He also performed on special team, totaling 8 tackles in 2016.
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Picking up right where they left off on Friday night, Bill Belichick and his Patriots got a jump on the final day of the 2017 NFL Draft. Before Round 4’s selections began, the Super Bowl champs swung a deal with Kansas City to acquire third-year veteran tight end James O’Shaughnessy and the Chiefs’ 216th overall pick in the sixth round. In exchange, New England gave up its only remaining fifth-rounder, the 183rd overall.
Restricted free agent running back Mike Gillislee officially became a Patriot on Monday after his former team, the Buffalo Bills, declined to match New England’s two-year contract offer. The Bills had until 4 p.m. Eastern today to make a decision after the Patriots extended the offer to Gillislee last week. Buffalo announced its decision at the last possible moment.
Develin returned to the lineup after missing all of 2015 with a broken leg and provided a physical presence in front of LeGarrette Blount, who turned in a career-year with 1,161 yards rushing and 18 touchdowns. The 28-year-old Develin will enter his fifth season after a college career as a defensive end at Brown. His professionalism and leadership will be welcomed back in Foxborough.
The Super Bowl LI victory celebrations didn’t stop when the duck boats rolled up to City Hall more than a month ago. Your Patriots have been doing victory tours to their hometowns and alma maters, and these towns and cities across the country have welcomed their hometown heroes with parades and various honors.
The 28-year-old Develin was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on Thursday before he and the Patriots came to an apparent agreement today.
Wisconsin’s latest running back prospect is Corey Clement, a potential mid- or late-round pick in next month’s draft. As he works through the Combine process, Clement was asked about his relationship with White, his teammate early in his career in Madison.