By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
The fast and furious undrafted free agent signings of 2020 NFL Draft weekend became official with the addition of 15 undrafted free agents finally confirmed by the New England Patriots on Tuesday.
In search of a potential No. 3 on the quarterback depth chart behind Brian Hoyer and Jarrett Stidham, the Patriots confirmed the signings of Louisiana Tech’s J’Mar Smith and Michigan State’s Brian Lewerke. Smith, a three-year starter for the Bulldogs, departs the Louisiana Tech program with 51 touchdowns (fourth-most in program history) and 9,523 yards (third-most in program history) in four seasons. Lewerke, meanwhile, left the Spartan program at the top of the school’s all-time total offense list, with 9,548 yards (8,293 passing yards, 1,255 rushing yards).
At wideout, the team added Auburn’s Will Hastings, Syracuse’s Sean Riley, the Miami Hurricanes’ Jeff Thomas, and Mississippi State’s Isaiah Zuber. It’s worth noting that Hastings was a favorite target of Stidham during their 2017 season together at Auburn (Hastings missed 2018 with an injury), while Thomas comes to the Patriots with some elite speed.
At tight end, the Patriots have added Ohio State’s Rashod Berry, along with Boston College’s Jake Burt.
The Patriots reportedly gave Burt, who grew up in Massachusetts, significant guaranteed money on his deal. Berry could be a name to watch, really, as his Twitter bio briefly said “OLB New England Patriots.” The 6-foot-3 Berry began his collegiate career on the defensive side of ball before switching to tight end, and did make some defensive appearances last year.
New England also brought another name to their already-crowded running back group with the signing of Arizona’s J.J. Taylor. The 5-foot-6 back was a beast in 2018, as he rushed for the seventh-most yards in the country (1,434) and captured countless accolades for the Wildcats, including 2018 AP All-American (Third Team), 2018 All-Pac-12 (First Team), and 2018 AP All-Pac-12 Team (First Team) honors.
On the other side of the ball, the Patriots added three defensive linemen in Auburn’s Nick Coe, William & Mary’s Bill Murray, and Louisiana Tech’s Courtney Wallace. One name not included in the Patriots’ official release, however, was Miami’s Trevon Hill. Hill’s camp had previously stated that he was joining the Patriots.
The Patriots also continued to restock their linebacking group with the additions of De’Jon Harris and Kyahva Tezino. Harris played in 48 games during his college career at Arkansas and finished with 371 tackles, 7.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and nine passes defensed. Harris also had three straight seasons of at least 100 tackles for the Razorbacks. Tezino, meanwhile, led San Diego State or tied for the team lead in tackles 18 times in his last 31 games and had 11 double-digit tackle games, and ranks 11th on the school’s all-time tackles list (290).
And in the secondary, the Patriots added Myles Bryant out of Washington. Bryant, who is listed at 5-foot-9, played in 50 games and finished with 191 tackles, four interceptions, and 20 passes defensed for the Huskies.