FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Patriots signed third-round draft choice Ellis Hobbs today. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The team subsequently announced the release of rookie running back DeCori Birmingham. With Hobbs' signing, six of the Patriots' seven selections in the 2005 draft have signed with the team.
Hobbs, 23, was the second player drafted by the Patriots in the 2005 NFL Draft and was selected in the third round with the 84th overall pick. The 5-foot-9-inch, 188-pound cornerback started 38 of 49 games in four seasons at Iowa State. The DeSoto, Texas native registered 209 career tackles (155 solo), nine interceptions – including one returned for a touchdown – and amassed 29 passes defensed. Hobbs also accumulated 490 yards on 24 kickoff returns (20.4 avg.) for the Cyclones. Hobbs added two sacks, three fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles in his collegiate career and was an All-Big Twelve selection as a senior in 2004. Hobbs was selected as Iowa State's 2004 team MVP by his teammates and was also named Iowa State's Male Athlete of the Year in 2004.
Birmingham, 22, was signed by the Patriots as an undrafted free agent on April 29, 2005. The 5-foot-10-inch, 210-pound running back attended the University of Arkansas, where he recorded 233 rushes for 1,151 yards and seven touchdowns while playing in 49 career games from 2000-04. He set the Razorbacks' school record with 1,321 yards on 61 kickoff returns during his career, and his 3,610 all-purpose yards rank fifth in school history. He also recorded 57 receptions for 592 yards and six touchdowns.