Linebacker T.J. Turner became the third Patriots draft pick to sign, agreeing to terms on Thursday.
Turner, New England's 10th and final pick in the 2001 draft, was taken in the seventh round with the 239th overall selection. He joins safety Hakim Akbar (fifth round)and cornerback Leonard Myers (sixth round) as draft picks officially under contract.
The 6-3, 260-pound Turner has massive size for a linebacker. In his 38-game career at Michigan State he posted 162 tackles, including 13 for a loss, and four sacks. His career with the Spartans was cut short by a shoulder injury suffered four games into his senior season.
Turner's injury and his size may have caused him to drop on draft boards around the league. He was a very effective player in the Michigan State system, which has many similarities with the schemes Bill Belichick likes to employ.
The Patriots now have seven draft picks left unsigned: defensive lineman Richard Seymour; offensive linemen Matt Light and Kenyatta Jones; cornerback Brock Williams; tight ends Jabari Holloway and Arther Love; and kicker Owen Pochman.