The New England Patriots announced today that they signed TE Aaron Hernandez to what is reportedly a 4-year deal. Hernandez was a fourth-round draft choice and was drafted 113th overall. He was originally considered to be a first- or second-round talent but alleged off-field issues dropped him down to the fourth round. Hernandez is the 4th draftee signed by the team, joining WR Taylor Price (3rd round), OL Ted Larsen (6th round), and OL Thomas Welch (7th round).
Signs are indicating that Hernandez will have a chance to make an impact this year as a pass-catching threat from the TE spot. During OTA’s, he has shown versatility lining up at a variety of spots, including in the backfield as an H-back and split out at wide receiver. In addition to his versatility, the Patriots have him running in some formations with the starters. Reports from the OTA’s (they’re closed to the public) also indicate that he has looked good so far and that he is receiving a lot of individual attention from the coaches. The Pats may have steal in the 4th-round TE. Hernandez will be someone to keep an eye on in training camp and when the preseason games get going.