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Cameron McGrone becomes the fourth Patriots draft pick to sign rookie deal

Iowa v Michigan Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The New England Patriots signed another member of their 2021 draft class on Friday, agreeing to terms with fifth-round pick linebacker Cameron McGrone according to ESPN’s Mike Reiss.

McGrone, 20, was selected by New England with the 177th overall selection in April’s draft, becoming the fourth Michigan Man to be drafted by the Patriots in the last three seasons. The 6-foot-1, 236-pounder appeared in 19 games for the Wolverines, registering 92 total tackles and 4½ sacks. His 2020 season ended due to a torn ACL that he suffered in late November.

Bill Belichick made that clear in his post draft press conference that McGrone isn’t expected to contribute much —if at all— in 2021:

“We’re not really sure what the expectation of availability is for him, but we’re prepared certainly to not have him available this year.”

After experiencing major depth issues at the position last season, the Patriots have loaded up on linebackers throughout the offseason. Dont’a Hightower, Kyle Van Noy, Raekwon McMillan, and Harvey Langi were all added to the off-ball group. This makes for a good chance that McGrone’s rookie season will be used as a sort of medical redshirt.

McGrone joins wide receiver Tre Nixon, safety Joshuah Bledsoe, and offensive lineman William Sherman as the only rookies to sign thus far. The Patriots top four selections; quarterback Mac Jones, defensive tackle Christian Barmore, edge defender Ronnie Perkins, running back Rhamondre Stevenson remain unsigned.