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Patriots Sign Eight Rookie Free Agents

The Patriots announced today the signing of eight rookie free agents: DB Devin Hafford, P Jake Julien, QB D'Eriq King, DL DaMarcus Mitchell, DE LaBryan Ray, OL Kody Russey, DB Brenden Schooler and OL Liam Shanahan. 

2021-Transactions-16x9

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Patriots announced today the signing of eight rookie free agents: DB Devin Hafford, P Jake Julien, QB D'Eriq King, DL DaMarcus Mitchell, DE LaBryan Ray, OL Kody Russey, DB Brenden Schooler and OL Liam Shanahan.

Table inside Article
NAMEPOSHTWTBORNCOLLEGEHOMETOWN
Hafford, DevinDB6-12104/10/1998Tarleton StateAtascocita, Texas
Julien, JakeP6-221711/10/1998Eastern MichiganBarrie, Ontario
King, D’EriqQB5-112028/23/1997Miami (Fla.)Manvel, Texas
Mitchell, DaMarcusDL6-326512/13/1998PurdueThibodaux, La.
Ray, LaBryanDL6-528512/5/1997AlabamaMadison, Ala
Russey, KodyOL6-22925/14/1998HoustonBurleson, Texas
Schooler, BrendenDB6-22065/30/1997TexasDana Point, Calif.
Shanahan, LiamOL6-53008/17/1998Louisiana StateMarlborough, Ma

*Heights and weights are gathered from college bios and will be officially updated at a later date

2022 ROOKIE FREE AGENTS

Hafford, 24, spent six seasons at Tarleton State where he played in 56 games and finished with 243 total tackles, 12 interceptions, 57 passes defensed, one forced fumble and four fumble recoveries. The 6-foot-1, 210-pounder played in just one game in 2019 before suffering an injury, leading to a redshirt senior season in 2020. He played in 11 games in 2021 and finished with 50 total tackles, six interceptions, 13 passes defensed and two fumble recoveries.

Julien, 23, spent five seasons at Eastern Michigan and was the only punter in school history with two 70-yard punts. The 6-foot-2, 217-pounder was drafted by the Ottawa Redblacks in the Canadian Football League Draft. He punted 221 times for 9,726 yards for a 44.0-yard average during his collegiate career.

King, 24, was limited to just three games in 2021 due to injury after a strong season in 2020 with Miami when he helped lead the team to an 8-2 record and was a finalist for the Davey O'Brien Award. The 5-foot-11, 202-pounder began his career at Houston and played both quarterback and receiver during his four seasons there before transferring to Miami for the final two years of his career. His best statistical season was in 2018 with Houston when he completed 219-of-345 pass attempts for 2,982 yards and 36 touchdowns with just six interceptions. Overall, he finished his college career with more than 11,000 all-purpose yards, 8,378 passing yards, 2,055 rushing yards, 520 receiving yards, 29 punt return yards and 260 kick return yards.

Mitchell, 23, played linebacker and defensive end at Purdue. The 6-foot-3, 265-pounder finished with 4 ½ sacks and 25 tackles in nine games last season. He came to Purdue from Southwest Mississippi Community College where he played on defense and on offense as a running back.

Ray, 24, played in all 13 games for Alabama in 2022 and finished with 11 total tackles. The 6-foot-5, 285-pounder was limited due to injuries in three of his five seasons while in college.

Russey, 23, began his college career at Louisiana Tech where he started 46 games at center in four seasons and earned 2020 Conference UA All-Conference First-Team Honors. The 6-foot-2, 292-pounder transferred to Houston in 2021 and started all 14 games and earned American Second-Team All-Conference Honors and was also named a team captain.

Schooler, 24, started his college career at Oregon where he played safety and made 74 total tackles with four interceptions. The 6-foot-2, 206-pounder was moved to wide receiver and caught 20 passes for 274 yards. He transferred to Texas where he played receiver for one season before moving back to safety in 2021. He had a total of 143 tackles and four interceptions and 55 receptions for 661 yards during his career.

Shanahan, 23, a native of Marlborough, Ma., originally went to Harvard where he started for three years at right guard and earned All-Ivy League honors. The 6-foot-5, 300-pounder transferred to Louisiana State in 2020 where he started in 10 games at center. Last season, he started all 13 games at center for Louisiana State.

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