Patriots Pick Up Rookie Pass-Rusher Following Minicamp

The New England Patriots bolstered their defensive depth on Monday by signing DE Jay Person following a strong rookie minicamp.
The Patriots have signed DE Jay Person following a solid minicamp.
The Patriots have signed DE Jay Person following a solid minicamp. / Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots gave their fans a taste of the future throughout last week's rookie minicamp. While most Patriots fans were excited to hear about how the likes of quarterback Drake Maye and wideout Ja'Lynn Polk looked during their first taste of professional action, others were eager to see if any undrafted invitees had what it took to receive an NFL contract offer.

As it turns out, one minicamp invitee did impress the Patriots brass enough to warrant an addition to the 90-man training camp roster.

Patriots Sign DE Jay Person Following Rookie Minicamp

NFL insider Aaron Wilson reports that the Patriots have signed former Chattanooga defensive edge Jay Person. The 6-foot-2, 233-pound defender began his collegiate career at Appalachian State in 2018 before spending the last five seasons with the Mocs.

Owners of Pro Football Focus' third-worst graded pass rush in 2023, Person is the type of rookie that the Patriots could use. The Cleveland, TN native excelled at attacking the quarterback during his four-year run at Tennessee, amassing 27 sacks — including a career-high 9.5 in 2023 — for 174 lost yards.

Person also tallied 131 solo tackles, 56 lost yardage tackles, nine forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, and five broken-up passes across 48 games. He received plenty of recognition for his performances, including the 2022 SoCon Defensive Player of the Year award and his back-to-back FCS first-team All-American nods in the last two seasons.

But just because Person received a contract doesn't mean he's guaranteed to play for the Patriots come September. The ex-Moc must first participate in next week's organized team activities (OTAs) before taking part in New England's three-day mandatory minicamp, which begins on Tuesday, June 11.

Whether or not Person plays a crucial role in Foxborough remains to be seen. As it stands, the Patriots head into the 2024 NFL season with a projected win total of 5.5, per FanDuel Sportsbook, with the Under being favored at -142 odds.

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