FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots announced today the signing of eight of their nine 2016 NFL Draft selections. The Patriots signed second-round pick CB Cyrus Jones, third-round pick OL Joe Thuney, third-round pick DT Vincent Valentine, fourth-round pick WR Malcolm Mitchell, sixth-round picks LB Kamu Grugier-Hill, LB Elandon Roberts and G Ted Karras and seventh-round pick WR Devin Lucien.
In addition, Patriots signed eight rookie free agents today and released RB Joey Iosefa. Iosefa, 24, originally joined the New England practice squad on Oct. 21, 2015, and had a brief stint on the 53-man roster before returning to the practice squad. The 6-foot, 245-pounder, played in two games and tallied 15 carries for 51 yards. He entered the NFL as a seventh-round draft pick by Tampa Bay (231st overall) out of Hawaii in the 2015 NFL Draft and was released by Tampa Bay on Aug. 30, 2015.
2016 Rookie Free Agents
|Foster, D.J.||RB||6-0||195||Arizona State|
|LeBlanc, Cre'Von||CB||5-11||195||Florida Atlantic|
|Williams, Bryce||TE||6-6||258||East Carolina|
Jones, 22, was selected by the Patriots in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft with the 60th overall selection out of Alabama. The 5-foot-10, 197-pounder, began his career at Alabama as a wide receiver before moving to cornerback as a sophomore in 2013. He played in 51 games and totaled 108 tackles, one sack, seven interceptions four fumbles and two fumble recoveries. Jones also was utilized as a punt returner, fielding 46 punts for 618 yards and a single-season school record four touchdowns in 2015.
Thuney, 23, was selected by the Patriots in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft with the 78th overall selection out of North Carolina State. The 6-foot-5, 295-pounder, was a three-year starter, who saw action at left tackle, left guard, right tackle and right guard during his career.
Valentine, 22, was selected by the Patriots in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft with the 96th overall selection out of Nebraska. The 6-foot-3, 320-pounder, was a mainstay on the defensive line for three seasons, playing in 36 games with 24 starts and finishing with 78 total tackles and seven sacks.
Mitchell, 22, was selected by the Patriots in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft with the 112th overall selection out of Georgia. The 6-foot-1, 195-pounder, played in 47 games with 35 starts over five years and finished third in school history with 174 receptions for 2,351 yards and 16 touchdowns.
Grugier-Hill, 21, was selected by the Patriots in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL Draft with the 208th overall selection out of Eastern Illinois. The 6-foot-2, 215-pounder, played in 49 games at linebacker over his four-year career and earned first team Ohio Valley Conference honors as a junior and a senior.
Roberts, 22, was selected by the Patriots in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL Draft with the 214th overall selection out of Houston. The 6-foot, 235-pounder, played in 34 games during his three-year career at Houston and finished with 175 total tackles, seven sacks and one interception, two forced fumbles and five passes defensed. He started his career at Morgan State for one season before transferring to Houston.
Karras, 23, was selected by the Patriots in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL Draft with the 221st overall selection out of Illinois. The 6-foot-4, 307-pounder, made 43 career starts along the offensive line at Illinois. He was a two-time All-Big Ten honoree.
Lucien, 22, was selected by the Patriots in the seventh round of the 2016 NFL Draft with the 225th overall selection out of Arizona State. The 6-foot-2, 195-pounder, played in 45 games with 20 starts during his college career and recorded 124 receptions for 1,827 yards and 12 touchdowns during his three seasons at UCLA and one season at Arizona State. Lucien was a graduate transfer out of UCLA, who played with Arizona State for his final season.
Check out our favorite photos from Patriots rookie mini camp at Gillette Stadium on Friday, May 6, 2016.
ROOKIE FREE AGENTS
V'Angelo Bentley (vee-AN-juh-low), 22, was a two-year starter at cornerback and a return specialist for Illinois. The 5-foot-10, 181-pounder, is the only player in Illinois history to return a kickoff, a punt, an interception and a fumble for a touchdown. He holds the school record for kickoff return yards with 1,860.
D.J. Foster, 22, appeared in 53 games during his four-year career at Arizona State and finished his career with 222 receptions for 2,458 yards. The 6-foot, 195-pounder, tallied 4,829 all-purpose yards, including 2,458 receiving yards and 2,355 rushing yards.
Woodrow Hamilton, 23, played in 47 games with 25 starts at nose tackle for Mississippi and finished with 83 total tackles and three sacks. The 6-foot-3, 319-pounder, played in every game with 12 starts at nose tackle as a senior in 2015.
C.J. Johnson, 24, began his college career at Mississippi as a defensive end before moving to middle linebacker for the 2015 season. The 6-foot-2, 225-pounder, played in 51 games and finished with 98 tackles, 13½ sacks and three interceptions.
Jonathan Jones, 22, was a four-year starter at cornerback for Auburn, who finished his career with 129 total tackles and seven interceptions. The 5-foot-10, 181-pounder, ranked ninth nationally as a junior in 2014 with six interceptions.
Cre'Von LeBlanc, 21, was a four-year contributor to Florida Atlantic's defense as a cornerback and a kickoff and punt returner. The 5-foot-11, 195-pounder, was named a team captain as a senior in 2015 and was named the team's Defensive MVP after finishing the year with 43 total tackles and four interceptions.
Steven Scheu, 23, was a four-year starter at tight end for Vanderbilt, who played in 47 career games and finished with 83 receptions for 933 yards and seven touchdowns. As a senior in 2015, he played in 11 games with 10 starts and finished the year with 26 receptions for 231 yards and a touchdown.
Bryce Williams, 23, was a walk-on at two college programs. He began his college career at Marshall before transferring to East Carolina. The 6-foot-6, 258-pounder, finished his career with 96 receptions for 1,045 yards and 13 touchdowns as a tight end. Last season, he earned first-team all-conference honors as a senior in 2015 after finishing with 58 receptions for 588 yards and four touchdowns.