The New England Patriots announced the signings of nine undrafted free agents heading into rookie minicamp last May. And by the time that weekend within the friendly confines of Gillette Stadium was over, there’d be another among them.
Where are they now?
Here’s a glance back at the original 10 UDFAs of 2018.
Not among the originals was fullback Henry Poggi, who joined in training camp following a stint with the Oakland Raiders. Wide receiver Damoun Patterson and defensive back A.J. Howard, two who arrived on New England’s practice squad in-season after stints elsewhere, also weren’t. The same could be said of offensive tackles Tony Adams and Toby Weathersby.
But half of those who were made their regular-season NFL debuts as rookies.
THE INITIAL 10
Ralph Webb, running back – Only five running backs amassed more rushing yards in their SEC careers than Webb, who garnered a $20,000 signing bonus and $50,000 in guaranteed base salary from the Patriots out of Vanderbilt. Webb went on to account for three touchdowns and a pair of two-point conversions last preseason before being waived and signed to the practice squad on Labor Day weekend. New England later released Webb in October, and he joined Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ practice squad for three weeks before latching onto the Pittsburgh Steelers’ scout team in December. He’d reach a reserve-futures deal with Pittsburgh.
Darren Andrews, wide receiver – The Patriots waived Andrews with the non-football-injury designation three days after his signing became official. Andrews, who tore his ACL while at UCLA, reverted to the reserve-NFI list after going unclaimed. The wideout found himself let go this March.
Chris Lacy, wide receiver – Lacy was waived by New England after last year’s rookie minicamp. The Detroit Lions claimed the Oklahoma State product the following day. Lacy logged four months on Detroit’s practice squad thenceforth, before being promoted to the active roster for his NFL debut in December. Lacy played 35 snaps on offense and 10 on special teams in the Lions’ finale against the Green Bay Packers.
Shane Wimann, tight end – Wimann, a fullback-slash-tight end via Northern Illinois, was waived-injured by the Patriots on July 31. He’d reach an injury settlement after reverting to injured reserve, and revisited the Patriots for a free-agent workout in the fall.
John Atkins, defensive tackle – One of three Georgia Bulldogs to arrive on New England’s campus last spring, alongside first-rounders offensive tackle Isaiah Wynn and running back Sony Michel, Atkins went to waivers on Sept. 1. The defensive tackle found his way onto the Lions’ practice squad two days later, and ultimately appeared in two regular-season games while recording the first two tackles of his career.
Frank Herron, defensive tackle – The LSU Tiger spent two weeks on the Seattle Seahawks’ practice squad in September and reconvened with the Patriots in November. Herron was a member of New England’s practice squad up through Super Bowl LIII, penning a futures contract shortly thereafter.
Trent Harris, defensive end – Miami’s sack leader in 2017, Harris would post 2.5 sacks and a forced fumble during his rookie preseason in Foxborough. Upon clearing the waiver wire, the 6-foot-2, 255-pound edge-rusher remained in town on the practice squad for the duration of the campaign. Harris, too, signed a futures deal with the Patriots in February.
J.C. Jackson, cornerback – By way of Maryland, Riverside City College and Florida, Jackson wouldn’t be going anywhere in 2018. He’d continue the Patriots’ streak of at least one undrafted rookie making the opening active roster to 15 years. And Jackson closed out the year having collected 24 tackles, six passes defensed and three interceptions over 13 contests and three starts.
A.J. Moore, safety – The Houston Texans claimed the Ole Miss safety off waivers to begin September. Moore proceeded to check into every game through Week 17, notching 14 tackles while leading the Texans with 344 special-teams snaps. As for those ranking second and third in the Houston kicking game? Do-it-all quarterback Joe Webb and ex-Patriots corner Johnson Bademosi.
Corey Bojorquez, punter – Signed following a successful tryout at rookie minicamp, Bojorquez was the corresponding move to the aforementioned Andrews’ exit. And while Bojorquez would not see a single preseason snap in the company of incumbent punter Ryan Allen, the strong left-footer out of New Mexico and Cerritos College would be claimed by the Bills to begin the regular season. Bojorquez appeared in eight games for Buffalo and went to IR on Halloween. He punted 45 times for an average of 45.1 yards and a long of 60.