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Report: Patriots adding another QB in undrafted free agency

/ by Darren Hartwell
Presented By John's Sewer
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D'Eriq King

The New England Patriots appear to have their franchise quarterback in Mac Jones. But that didn't stop them from adding two more signal-callers Saturday.

After selecting Western Kentucky QB Bailey Zappe in the fourth round (137th overall) of the 2022 NFL Draft on Saturday afternoon, the Patriots added University of Miami quarterback D'Eriq King in undrafted free agency, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports.

With Brian Hoyer turning 37 in October and Jarrett Stidham entering the final year of his contract, the Patriots could have drafted Zappe with the intention of grooming him to be Jones' top backup. But why add another rookie QB to the roster?

Perry: Why did the Patriots draft a QB in the fourth round?

Well, King isn't your traditional QB. The 24-year-old began his college career at Houston as a wide receiver, racking up 58 receptions and 492 receiving yards over his first two seasons. He transferred to Miami in 2020 and threw for 2,686 yards and 26 touchdowns while adding 538 rushing yards and catching two passes for 16 yards.

King reportedly worked out for Patriots offensive assistant Joe Judge in early April, and it's possible New England could have interest in trying out the 5-foot-11, 195-pound QB at wide receiver.

They famously found success with that strategy when they drafted Kent State quarterback Julian Edelman, who went on to become one of the most productive wideouts in franchise history.

 

If King does become a wide receiver, he'll join New England's second-round draft pick, Tyquan Thornton, in the first-year class of wideouts.