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Patriots sign second round draft picks Dowling and Vereen

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots announced today the signing of second-round draft picks DB Ras-I Dowling and RB Shane Vereen. Terms of the contracts were not disclosed. The patriots also signed rookie free agent DE Christian Cox out of Utah.

In addition, the Patriots released first-year QB Jonathan Crompton.

Dowling, a defensive back from Virginia, was selected by the Patriots in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft with the 33rd selection overall.  Dowling, 6-1, 198 pounds, started 25 of 40 games at right cornerback for Virginia, recording 160 tackles (115 solo). Dowling, 23, who played in all 12 games with two starts as a true freshman, was voted a team captain as a senior.

Vereen, a running back from California, was selected by the Patriots in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft with the 56th selection overall. Vereen, 5-9, 205 pounds, finished his college career with 2,834 rushing yards (5.10 avg.) and 29 touchdowns and 674 receiving yards on 74 receptions and six touchdowns. In addition, the 22-year old returned 24 kickoffs for 551 yards and two punts for 10 yards. His 29 touchdown runs tie Marshawn Lynch (2004-06) and Jahvid Best (2007-09) for third on Cal's all-time record chart behind Russell White (35; 1990-92) and Chuck Muncie (32; 1973-75). His 4,069 all-purpose yards rank fifth in school annals behind Deltha O'Neal (4,998; 1996-99), Russell White (4,943; 1990-92), Marshawn Lynch (4,574; 2004-06) and Chuck Muncie (4,194; 1973-75).

Cox, a 25-yaer old rookie free agent from Utah was a first-team all-conference defensive who originally came to Utah as a walk-on. The 6-3, 250-pounder earned all conference honors in 2010 after starting all 13 games and finishing with 53 total tackles and 4.0 sacks.

Crompton, 6-3, 222 pounds, was originally drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the fifth round of the 2010 NFL Draft out of Tennessee. He was waived by San Diego on Sept. 4. Crompton was signed to the San Diego practice squad on Sept. 5 but was waived from the squad on Sept. 7. He was signed to the New England practice squad on Nov. 3.

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