The New England Patriots have their first rookie from the 2013 draft class under contract, as they have signed 3rd round pick and Rutgers product Duron Harmon to a four year deal.
While the draft pick signing period won't have as much suspense as it did under the old CBA, it's nice to see the Patriots get an early start on signing their picks for the second straight year.
Harmon, selected by the Patriots with the 91st overall pick in last month's draft, was predicted by most draft analysts to go in the latter rounds. He didn't receive a combine invite either. But as Bill Belichick has shown throughout his tenure as Patriots coach, he isn't afraid to take a player that's "off the radar" (see: Sebastian Vollmer, 2nd round, 2009).
While Harmon's draft status likely secures him a roster spot for his rookie season, his best bet for playing time as a rookie might come on special teams. The Patriots currently have a crowded safety depth chart that includes cornerback convert Devin McCourty, veterans Steve Gregory and Adrian Wilson, as well as 2nd year pro Tavon Wilson who looks primed for an increased role this season.