Nov 29, 2012; Piscataway, NJ, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights wide receiver Mark Harrison (81) runs for a long pass during the second half against Louisville Cardinals cornerback Jordon Paschal (22) at High Point Solutions Stadium. Louisville Cardinals defeat the Rutgers Scarlet Knights 20-17. Mandatory Credit: Jim O

New England Patriots sign Mark Harrison

The New England Patriots now have seven former Rutgers Scarlet Knight stars on the roster after signing rookie wide receiver Mark Harrison yesterday, and the Pats now have five rookies out of Rutgers in third-round DBs Logan Ryan and Duron Harmon, seventh-round linebacker Steve Beauharnais, and UDFAs Brandon Jones and Mark Harrison.

Harrison was signed by the Chicago Bears right when the UDFA frenzy started, but the Bears promptly released Harrison in rookie minicamps after he failed to pass a physical due to a foot injury. A tall and athletic wide receiver who has some wheels and proved it by running a 4.46 forty at the Combine, Harrison is definitely a good deal from the Rutgers pipeline for the Patriots as a UDFA. Likely a big reason why he was undrafted, first-round wideout DeAndre Hopkins (the Houston Texans love him) and Harrison owned a hotel room that was trashed at the Combine, and Hopkins reportedly left the room beforehand- so yeah, not a good incident for Harrison.

I love the signing of Harrison and was actually surprised that the Patriots did not sign this Rutgers WR as a UDFA right off the bat. It sounds like the Bears just got to him first, but it is even less of a surprise to see him in New England after the Bears cut him loose. Although he doesn’t possess the best hands and is an awful route-runner, Harrison has good size and plenty of big-play ability that he showed as a deep threat with Rutgers. Harrison has plenty of upside, and I think he has a good chance of stealing a spot on the Patriots practice squad with his intriguing skill set.

You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.

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Tags: Football Mark Harrison New England Patriots Rutgers Scarlet Knights

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