The Patriots announced that second-round picks Ras-I Dowling and Shane Vereen agreed to contracts with the team. That leaves just first-round pick Nate Solder, an offensive tackle, as the lone Patriots draftee yet to agree to a deal. Dowling, who will wear #21, figures to compete immediately for playing time in the defensive back rotation. His large frame (6-1, 198) could be used to match-up against Plaxico Burress, who agreed to join the New York Jets. Despite a crowded offensive backfield, Vereen, who will wear #29, could also be a gameday factor. He possesses a varied skill set that the Patriots could utilize for different packages.
In addition to the draft pick signings, the Patriots also signed rookie free agent DE Christian Cox from Utah. Cox earned all-conference honors while playing for Utah.