Patriots Sign Draft Picks Lee Smith, Markell Carter Among 16 Roster Transactions


The Patriots announced 16 roster transactions Wednesday night on the eve of their first practice of training camp.

They signed fifth-round draft pick Lee Smith, a tight end from Marshall who is expected to be a tremendous blocker. As a best-case scenario, Smith could force the Patriots to carry four tight ends on the regular-season roster, but he seems destined for the practice squad.

The Pats also confirmed the signing of sixth-round pick Markell Carter, who tallied 16.5 sacks during his career as a defensive end at Central Arkansas and is expected to convert to outside linebacker in New England.

The Patriots activated wide receiver Tyree Barnes and running back Eric Kettani from the reserve/military list after they completed their service in the Navy and reported to camp.

Finally, the Patriots announced the signings of a dozen undrafted rookie free agents: offensive lineman Mike Berry (Auburn), linebacker/long snapper Ryan Coulson (Nevada), offensive lineman Kyle Hix (Texas), kicker Chris Koepplin (UMass), defensive end Aaron Lavarias (Idaho), linebacker Anthony Leonard (West Virginia), defensive end Clay Nurse (Illinois), wide receiver Jeremy Ross (California), defensive end Alex Silvestro (Rutgers), linebacker Jeff Tarpinian (Iowa), offensive lineman Corey Woods (Akron) and tight end Will Yeatman (Maryland).

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