The New England Patriots claimed a pair of rookie defensive tackles off of waivers Sunday. They added ex-Cardinal Bruce Gaston and ex-Giant Kelcy Quarles. Linebacker Chris White was cut to free up space on the roster. The moves were announced in addition to the Ryan Mallett trade.
Gaston, 22, played in over 50 games with the Purdue Boilermakers. The 310-pounder can clog the middle and get after the quarterback a little bit. He had signed with the Arizona Cardinals as an undrafted free agent back on May 12.
Quarles, who is also 22, was on display Thursday night when the New York Giants hosted the Patriots in their preseason finale. The 300-pounder played his college football for the University of South Carolina. He excels at generating a push up front and his long arms. Clearly he impressed Coach Bill Belichick in one way or another.
White mainly served as a core special-teamer for the Patriots last season. He appeared in all 16 games in 2013 on all four special teams units. The transaction leaves the team rather thin at the linebacker position.
The subtraction of White leaves the Patriots with a line-backing corps of just Jerod Mayo, Dont’a Hightower, Jamie Collins and rookie Darius Fleming. A future move or two to build depth at the position should be expected.
The additions of Gaston and Quarles bolster a position with an already plentiful amount of depth. Vince Wilfork, Dominique Easley, Chris Jones, Sealver Siliga, Joe Vellano and Zach Moore are already listed as defensive tackles. A couple players could be heading for the practice squad with eight total defensive tackles on the roster.