Monday's NFL: Patriots sign undrafted punter Jake Julien of Eastern Michigan
Foxborough, Mass. — The New England Patriots again added to their growing pipeline of former Alabama players, including defensive lineman LaBryan Ray among eight players signed Monday as undrafted free agents.
Eastern Michigan punter Jake Julien was also signed by the Patriots, who have had at least one undrafted rookie make its initial 53-man roster for 18 straight seasons. Kicker Quinn Nordin kept the streak alive last season.
In five years with the Eagles, Julien, a native of Barrie, Ontario, punted 221 times in 54 games, averaging 44 yards per kick. Julien pinned opponents inside their 20-yard line 71 times in his career, with 51 punts of over 50 yards on his resume.
In 2021, Julien averaged 45.9 yards per punt in 2021, with 11 kicks inside the twenty and 14 of over 50 yards.
With Ray, the Patriots currently have six former Crimson Tide players on their roster. Ray joins quarterback Mac Jones, running back Damien Harris, defensive tackle Christian Barmore, linebacker Anfernee Jennings and linebacker Mack Wilson.
The six other rookies signed Monday were defensive back Devin Hafford (Tarleton State), quarterback D’Eriq King (Miami), defensive lineman DaMarcus Mitchell (Purdue), offensive lineman Kody Russey (Houston), defensive back Brenden Schooler (Texas) and offensive lineman Liam Shanahan (LSU).
The Patriots continually have found impact players in the undrafted rookie pool during coach Bill Belichick’s tenure, including 2015 Super Bowl hero Malcolm Butler, cornerback J.C. Jackson and center David Andrews.
Rookie minicamp begins May 13.