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Patriots' undrafted free agent class won't come close to what it was last year

Ryan Hannable
April 24, 2018 - 3:25 pm

One of the underrated parts of the NFL draft, is the undrafted free agents who sign almost immediately following the final pick of the draft.

These have proven to be very important for the Patriots, as they have had an undrafted free agent make the 53-man roster in 14 straight seasons. Last year, the Patriots signed 19 players as undrafted free agents and then saw three of them make the 53-man roster in Harvey Langi, Jacob Hollister and Cole Croston.

This year's undrafted free agent class won't come close to what it was in 2017, as the Patriots simply don't have as much space on their 90-man roster.

Going into the draft, the Patriots have 72 players on the current roster and then 73 counting the reported signing of offensive tackle Ulrick John on Monday. New England also is scheduled to make eight selections in the draft, so if it uses all of its picks, it would bring the roster to 81 players leaving room for just nine more. Of course, there's a good chance the Patriots will make a trade or two, so that number could go up or down by a few.

It's also likely the team would want to save a couple of spots for veterans still on the market, so this undrafted free agent class will likely be no more than 10 players and could be as few as five players.

While it's not as exciting as the actual draft, it's always worth keeping an eye on the undrafted players from a Patriots perspective as it's a good bet one of the signings will make the team.

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