Defensive tackle was unanimously considered one of the Patriots' biggest positions of need to address during the offseason with an ultra-thin depth chart of Vince Wilfork, Kyle Love, Brandon Deaderick and Marcus Forston composing the interior of the defensive line.
Weeks before NFL Draft season officially kicks off into Kiper-gear, the Patriots make a move and sign DT Armond Armstead. Armstead, 22, spent the entire 2012 season with the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League, recording 45 tackles and six quarterback sacks. While being named a CFL All-Star, Armstead's defensive play helped the Argos win the 100th Grey Cup--the Super Bowl of the Great White North.
Armstead played three standout seasons for the Southern Cal Trojans from 2008-2010, starting 17 games and recording 59 tackles. He was not medically cleared to participate in 2011 after suffering a heart attack. Armstead later sued USC for unspecified damages in which his attorney claimed that the heart attack was the result of team doctors treating Armstead with the painkiller Toradol. After Armstead went undrafted in 2012, he then went on to sign with the Toronto Argonauts to prove his clean bill of health to gun-shy NFL teams.
Armstead was released by the Argonauts on January 4 so he could pursue a career in the NFL after widespread interest from the professional level netted him meetings with the New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles and Indianapolis Colts, among others.
A classic low-risk, high-reward signing by the Patriots with potential breakout ability, Armstead also boasts a very Patriot-esque 6'5", 300-lb. build, fitting right in with the big run-stuffing bodies already peppered along the defensive line.
Armond Armstead 2012 CFL All-Star Highlight Video (via AW Prince)