A 2020 New England Patriots draft pick who retired before his first NFL game is giving football another shot.
Center Dustin Woodard officially unretired Wednesday and was reinstated to the Patriots’ 90-man roster, according to the NFL’s transaction wire.
The Patriots selected Woodard in the seventh round in last year’s draft. He was expected to compete for the backup center spot behind starter David Andrews before walking away from the game in mid-August.
Woodard was a versatile player during his college career at Memphis, starting 24 games at left guard, 14 at right guard and 14 at center. He was Pro Football Focus’s second-highest graded college center in 2019 and PFF’s highest-graded run blocker at the position. Woodard also allowed one sack, one QB hit and five total pressures allowed on 462 pass-blocking snaps in 2019, per PFF.
At 6-foot-2, 291 pounds, Woodard is the lightest offensive lineman on New England’s roster. He’ll compete with fellow interior O-linemen Ross Reynolds, Najee Toran and Marcus Martin for a roster spot behind Andrews and projected top iOL backup Ted Karras.
The Patriots also are likely to add to this group through the 2021 NFL Draft and/or undrafted free agency.