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Fourth-round center Jake Andrews becomes latest Patriots draft pick to sign rookie contract

With Andrews now in the fold, only three members of the Patriots’ draft class remain unsigned.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: FEB 01 Reese’s Senior Bowl Practice Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The New England Patriots have signed another member of their 2023 draft class to his rookie contract. Interior offensive lineman Jake Andrews has signed a four-year, $4.65 million deal with the club, as first reported by ESPN’s Mike Reiss.

Andrews arrived in New England as the 107th overall selection in the fourth round of this year’s draft. The Troy product was the first offensive player taken by the team after it spent its first three picks exclusively on defense.

A four-star recruit coming out of high school, Andrews joined Troy in 2018. After spending most of his freshman career as a redshirt, he developed into a valuable player along the team’s offensive line by his second and especially his third seasons.

A reserve center in 2019, he took over as the team’s right guard in 2020. He started 23 games at the position over the next three years, before moving back to center for his 2022 senior campaign. Working under former Patriots offensive line coach Cole Popovich that season, he started all 14 of the Trojans’ games and earned first-team All-Sun Belt Conference honors.

In New England, the versatile 6-foot-3, 305-pounder joined an interior offensive line that is well-set at the starter level.

Center David Andrews will again be flanked by Cole Strange and Michael Onwenu at the left and right guard positions, respectively, meaning that the rookie is expected to man one of the backup spots. With the veteran Andrews turning 31 in July and Onwenu set to enter unrestricted free agency next spring, however, adding him to the mix gives the team some developmental depth and possible flexibility for the future.

For now, the rookie is one of nine draft picks to have signed a contract with the Patriots. Only the team’s three highest selections — CB Christian Gonzalez, DE Keion White, LB/S Marte Mapu — remain without a contract at the moment.