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Patriots sign eight of their 11 2015 draft picks; Patriots sign seven rookie free agents

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Patriots announced today the signing of eight of their 11 2015 draft picks: sixth-round pick TE AJ Derby, seventh-round pick DL Xzavier Dickson, fourth-round pick DL Trey Flowers, fourth-round pick OL Tre' Jackson, fourth-round pick OL Shaq Mason, second-round pick DB Jordan Richards, seventh-round pick DB Darryl Roberts and sixth-round pick LB Matthew Wells.

In addition, Patriots signed seven rookie free agents today. The seven rookie free agents are listed below. 

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DRAFT PICKS

Derby, 23, was selected by the Patriots in the sixth round of the 2015 NFL Draft with the 202nd selection overall out of Arkansas. The 6-foot-5, 255-pounder, played most of his college career as a quarterback before converting to a tight end heading into his senior season. Derby's five-year collegiate career began with two seasons at Iowa (2010-11) before transferring to Coffeyville Community College (Kan.) as a sophomore in 2012 and eventually landing at Arkansas for his final two seasons (2013-14). He played in 11 games with seven starts at tight end last season and finished with 22 receptions for 303 yards and three touchdowns.

Dickson, 22, was selected by the Patriots in the seventh round of the 2015 NFL Draft with the 253rd selection overall out of Alabama. The 6-foot-3, 266-pounder, played in 47 games with 15 starts during his college career and finished with 91 tackles, 14 sacks , one forced fumble and three passes defensed. As a senior in 2014, he played in all 14 games with nine starts and compiled 42 tackles, 9 sacks and two passes defensed.

Flowers, 21, was selected by the Patriots in the fourth round of the 2015 NFL Draft with the 101st selection overall out of Arkansas. The 6-foot-2, 266-pounder, played in 49 games with 39 starts and registered 190 total tackles, 18 sacks, one interception, 13 forced fumbles and four forced fumbles. Last season, Flowers started all 13 games and tallied 68 tackles, six sacks and once forced fumble.

Jackson, 22, was selected by the Patriots in the fourth round of the 2015 NFL Draft with the 111th selection overall out of Florida State. The 6-foot-4, 330-pounder, was a three-time All-ACC honoree and a two-time all-conference selection. Jackson was a unanimous All-America honoree as a senior in 2014.

Mason, 21, was selected by the Patriots in the fourth round of the 2015 NFL Draft with the 131st selection overall out of Georgia Tech. The 6-foot-1, 300-pounder, was a three-year starter, who earned numerous accolades in his college career, including 2014 First Team All-America honors by USA Today and 2014 All-ACC by ESPN. Last season, he started all 14 games at right guard for Georgia Tech.

Richards, 22, was selected by the Patriots in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft with the 64th selection overall out of Stanford. The 5-foot-11, 210-pounder, played in 54 games with 44 starts over his career and registered 247 tackles, one sack, nine interceptions with one returned for a touchdown, 24 passes defensed and five forced fumbles. He was an All-Pac-12 first team selection two times during his career.

Roberts, 24, was selected by the Patriots in the seventh-round of the 2015 NFL Draft with the 247th selection overall out of Marshall. The 6-foot, 182-pounder, made 42 starts in his career, which is second among defensive backs in school history. Roberts finished his career with 186 tackles, 38 passes defensed and five interceptions.

Wells, 24, was selected by the Patriots in the sixth round of the 2015 NFL Draft with the 178th selection overall out of Mississippi State. The 6-foot-2, 215-pounder, played in 52 games with 33 starts in his career and recorded 165 tackles, six sacks, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. Last season, Wells started all 13 games at outside linebacker and finished with 45 tackles and four sacks.

ROOKIE FREE AGENTS

David Andrews, 22, was a three-year starter at center for Georgia, playing in 50 games with 40 starts. The 6-foot-3, 294-pounder, was a team captain for three years and was named Second-Team All-ACC as a senior in 2014. In addition, he was named the team's Most Valuable Player following the 2014 campaign.

Devin Gardner, 23, was a four-year letterman at Michigan, appearing in 49 games with 31 starts overall as a quarterback and wide receiver. The 6-foot-4, 216-pounder, made 27 starts at quarterback and four starts at wide receiver. He finished his career sixth in school history with 44 passing touchdowns, fourth with 6,336 passing yards and fourth with 475 completions. Gardner set a school record vs. Indiana on Oct. 19, 2013 with 503 passing yards.

Chris Harper, 21, played in 35 games with 23 starts at Cal and finished his career ranked seventh in school history with 163 receptions for 2,030 yards and 13 touchdowns that ranked 10th in school history. The 5-foot-11, 175-pounder, caught at least one pass in 34 of the 35 games he played in, with the lone exception coming in a contest against UCLA when he played as a true freshman in 2012.

Jimmy Jean, 26, played both safety and cornerback over two seasons at University of Alabama- Birmingham. The 6-foot-3, 180-pounder, played in 24 games over two seasons at UAB after beginning his college career with two seasons at Arkansas Baptist Junior College.

Brandon King, 21, played two seasons at Auburn after transferring from Highland Community College. The 6-foot-2, 213-pounder, began his tenure at Auburn as a safety in 2013 and then started the 2014 campaign at safety before being moved to defensive end to bolster the pass rush.

Eric Patterson, 22, started in 28 of 41 games during his four-year career at Ball State and finished with 135 total tackles and six interceptions. The 5-foot-10, 193-pounder, was used as a kickoff returner as a senior in 2014 and was named to the 2014 All-Mid-American Conference First Team after finishing with 23 kickoffs for 590 yards.

Vince Taylor, 22, played in 49 games with 12 starts at Vanderbilt and finished with 87 total tackles, 1 ½ sacks and three fumble recoveries. The 6-2, 310-pounder, enjoyed his finest season as a senior in 2014, as he started all 11 games that he played at nose tackle and finished with 43 total tackles and 1 ½ sack. 

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