The New England Patriots are now one over the roster limit of 90 players, as they decided to sign a versatile South Florida Bulls tight end today in Evan Landi. The 6’3″, 236 pound TE is now a camp body for the Patriots after catching just ten passes as a senior at USF last season, but Bill Belichick and the Patriots did travel down south to Tampa to scout out the Bulls before the draft and must have a good idea of what Landi can bring to the table. Landi is one of two undrafted free agents from USF on the New England Patriots roster, with defensive tackle Cory Grissom (he has a legit chance of cracking the roster, though Marcus Forston and Joe Vellano likely have a better track) being the other (Grissom really should have been drafted).
A New England Patriots helmet rests on the side line during the third quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Landi, per ESPN Boston’s Field Yates, would be used out wide while with the Bulls, so his versatility at the position and size make him an intriguing player. Even though the Patriots look set at tight end, they did recently release a TE in Brandon Ford (a “move” TE who is a UDFA out of Clemson) and should see if Landi has the ability to crack the practice squad. Landi will likely end up being cut after training camp due to just 72 catches in 26 college starts, but he does look intriguing based on his size and versatility.
You can’t criticize a team for bringing in a camp body, either, no matter how much depth the Patriots have at tight end. It’s all about scouting guys out to see if they have the potential to be developed on the practice squad, and there is something intriguing about Evan Landi. Wide receiver Quentin Sims was picked up as a UDFA following the Donald Jones release, and he has shown that he can be a quality practice squad player for the Pats. Perez Ashford- the other received signed by the Pats following the Jones move- ended up getting released, so we’ll see if Landi can end up making a case to stay on the practice squad. The competition is still pretty stiff there, though, but we’ll see if he can make an impression despite a lack of college production.
The Patriots will have to release a player later today to get back to 90.