Tight End Justin Jones Among Patriots’ Undrafted Free-Agent Signings


May 11, 2014

Justin JonesNEW YORK — The 2014 NFL draft is over, which means an even crazier time starts — the race to sign undrafted free agents.

The Patriots already have signed some priority rookies who were not selected in the draft. We’ll keep a tab on them here.

The Patriots finally signed a Rutgers product. Versatile safety Jeremy Deering signed with New England, a source told NJ.com’s Dan Duggan. Deering ran a 4.40-second 40-yard dash at this pro day in March with a 6.99-second three-cone, 4.32-second short shuttle, 10-foot-6 broad jump and 33.5-inch vertical leap.

Deering played safety, wide receiver, wildcat quarterback and running back with the Scarlet Knights. The 6-foot-1, 209-pound rookie also returned 41 kicks for 1,100 yards and a touchdown. Deering recorded 39 tackles and an interception in his first year as a safety in 2013. He caught 21 passes for 415 yards and a touchdown and had 130 carries for 578 yards and two touchdowns on offense during his four-year career at Rutgers.

The Patriots signed Oklahoma running back Roy Finch on Saturday, according to his agency KMM Sports. Finch had 262 career carries with the Sooners for 1,412 yards with six touchdowns. He also had 58 catches for 442 yards with two touchdowns.

Finch also returned 43 kicks for 1,099 yards with a touchdown during his four-year career.

He ran a 4.50-second 40-yard dash at his pro day in March with a 7.07-second three-cone and 4.25-second short shuttle.

The Patriots also signed Iowa linebacker James Morris, the Eastern Iowa Gazette’s Scott Dochterman reported.

Morris recorded 106 tackles with seven sacks, 17 tackles for loss and four interceptions in 2013. The 6-foot-1, 241-pound linebacker ran a 4.67-second 40-yard dash at his pro day in March with a 4.33-second short shuttle, 36-inch vertical leap and 10 feet broad jump. He ran a 6.94 three-cone at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Bowling Green tight end Tyler Beck signed with the Patriots, his university tweeted out. The 6-foot-3, 252-pound rookie caught 10 passes for 177 yards and two touchdowns in 2013. He ran a 4.81-second 40-yard dash at his pro day in March.

Delaware cornerback Travis Hawkins also signed with the Patriots, a source told The Baltimore Sun’s Aaron Wilson. Hawkins transferred from Maryland after the 2010 season. The 5-foot-10, 192-pound corner ran a 4.37-second 40-yard dash with a 6.80-second 3-cone at his pro day in March.

Hawkins had four interceptions with the Fightin’ Blue Hens in 2013. He also was used as a kick returner.

Massive East Carolina tight end Justin Jones signed with the Patriots, ESPN.com’s Field Yates reported Saturday. Jones is 6-foot-8, 274 pounds and sat out the 2013 season due to academic issues. He ran a 4.90-second 40-yard dash with a 6.88-second three-cone and 38-inch vertical leap at Detroit’s Scouting Regional Combine in March.

Jones caught 25 catches for 346 yards and three touchdowns in 2012.

The Patriots signed a pair of North Carolina State prospects.  They snagged tight end Asa Watson, a source told Wilson. Nose tackle Deylan Buntyn tweeted that he signed with the Patriots.

Watson is former Patriots first-round draft pick Ben Watson’s brother. Watson caught 24 passes for 282 yards and a touchdown in 2012. The 6-foot-2, 239-pound prospect ran a 4.69-second 40-yard dash with a 7.00-second three-cone at his pro day in March.

The Patriots also signed Michigan linebacker Cameron Gordon, a source told Wilson. The 6-foot-2, 236-pound linebacker ran a 4.72-second 40-yard dash with a 6.74-second three-cone and 4.28-second short shuttle. He recorded five sacks and 8.5 tackles for loss in 2013.

The Patriots signed Mississippi State linebacker Deontae Skinner, Michael Bonner from The Clarion-Ledger reported Sunday. Skinner ran a 4.81-second 40-yard dash at his pro day.

They also signed Indiana running back Stephen Houston, NEPatriotsDraft.com’s Mike Loyko reported Sunday. Houston ran a 4.52-second 40-yard dash at his pro day in March with a 7.07-second three-cone and 4.23-second short shuttle. His 40-inch vertical leap and 11 foot broad jump are elite explosion numbers.

Houston caught 65 passes for 658 yards in his three years with the Hoosiers. He also ran for 2,304 yards on 424 carries with 25 touchdowns.

The Patriots signed a third long snapper, Harvard’s Tyler Ott, a source told Wilson.

The Patriots also invited Towson cornerback Jordan Love and Delaware safety Anthony Walters to minicamp on a tryout basis, sources told Wilson.

The Patriots also signed Ole Miss wide receiver Ja-Mes Logan, West Alabama cornerback Malcolm Butler and UCLA defensive tackle Deali’i Epenesa as undrafted free agents, NEPatriotsDraft.com reports.

They invited Arizona defensive tackle Tevin Hood, Colorado State defensive tackle Calvin Tonga, West Texas A&M linebacker Taylor McCuller and Saint Francis running back Kyle Harbridge to minicamp for tryouts.

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