FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots announced the signings of four of their 2006 draft choices; wide receiver Chad Jackson, tight end David Thomas, placekicker Stephen Gostkowski and linebacker Jeremy Mincey. They also added first-year wide receiver Keron Henry and waived offensive tackle Jon Doty.
Jackson, 21, was selected by the Patriots in the second round (36th overall) of the 2006 NFL Draft. In three seasons at Florida, the 6-foot-1-inch, 215-pound receiver caught 120 passes for 1,586 yards and 16 touchdowns. He also rushed for 88 yards on 16 carries, fielded nine punts for 35 yards and returned 10 kicks for 188 yards. Last season, Jackson started 11 of 12 games for the Gators and tied a school record with 88 receptions for 900 yards and scored nine touchdowns, including an 80-yard reception, the longest in the SEC in 2005. He became just the eighth player in school history to score four touchdowns in a game when he caught three touchdown passes and rushed for another against Wyoming. He led the Gators in receiving in 10 of his 12 games played and was a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award, presented annually to the nation's top college receiver.
Thomas, 23, was selected by the Patriots in the third round (86th overall) of the 2006 NFL Draft. In four seasons at Texas, Thomas finished his career as the most prolific receiving tight end in school history. He started 38 of 51 games during his collegiate career and set school receiving records for a tight end with 98 receptions, 1,367 yards and 15 touchdowns. The 6-foot-3-inch, 248-pound tight end also set the Texas single-season and single-game reception records with 50 receptions in 2005 and 10 receptions in the 2006 Rose Bowl while leading the Longhorns to the national title. In 2005, he started all 13 games, caught 50 passes for 613 yards and scored five touchdowns to earn consensus first-team all-conference honors. His 613 yards ranked second in school history among tight ends.
Gostkowski, 22, was selected by the Patriots with their second of two fourth round (118th overall) picks in the 2006 NFL Draft. The 6-foot-1-inch, 210-pound placekicker finished his collegiate career ranked 13th in NCAA Division I-A history with 369 career points, shattering the previous Memphis record of 263 points. In four years at Memphis, he appeared in 49 games, converting 70 of 92 field goals and 159 of 165 PATs. In 2005, he earned first-team All-Conference USA honors after converting 22 of 25 field goal attempts (.880) and all 35 extra point attempts. It was his third consecutive season to score over 100 points (101).
Mincey, 22, was selected by the Patriots in the sixth round (191st overall) of the 2006 NFL Draft. The 6-foot-3-inch, 260-pound linebacker played two seasons at Florida and started all 24 games at defensive end for the Gators. He was credited with 123 tackles, including 5.5 sacks, and recorded one interception, which he returned 23 yards. In 2005, he served as team captain and led all SEC defensive linemen and ranked fourth on the team with 62 tackles to earn second-team all-conference honors. Mincey spent the 2002-03 seasons at Butler County (Kan.) Community College, where he earned first-team all-conference honors before transferring to Florida.
Henry, 23, was originally signed by the New Orleans Saints as a rookie free agent out of the University of Connecticut in 2005. The 6-foot-1-inch, 222-pound wide receiver was released by the Saints prior to the start of the regular season and re-signed to the team's practice squad for the first three weeks of the season. He signed with the San Diego Chargers immediately after the 2005 season and was allocated to NFL Europe. The Chargers waived Henry on June 1, 2006. While at Connecticut, Henry transitioned from quarterback to wide receiver and finished his career ranked ninth in school annals with 1,615 yards receiving. He totaled 102 receptions, including a streak of at least on reception in 23 consecutive games.
Doty, 24, was signed by the Patriots as a first-year free agent on June 8, 2006. The 6-foot-7-inch, 320-pound offensive lineman was originally signed as a rookie free agent by the Carolina Panthers in 2005 out of Kansas State. He was released by the Panthers and signed to the New York Giants practice squad late in the season (12/13/05).