New England Patriots sign rookie DL Davis, release DB Thomas

By Alex Butler  |  Aug. 11, 2017 at 6:13 PM
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Aug. 11 (UPI) -- Rookie free agent defensive lineman Keionta Davis is now a member of the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots.

New England announced the signing on Friday. The Patriots also released rookie defensive back Dwayne Thomas.

Davis, 23, had 31 sacks during his college career at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga. During his senior season, he had 10.5 sacks and 44 tackles, earning first-team All-American honors. He is listed at 6-foot-4, 260-pounds.

Thomas, 24, signed wit the Patriots on May 5. He had 42 tackles, eight passes defended and an interception during his senior season at Louisiana State. The 6-foot, 201-pound defender played cornerback and nickel back.

The Patriots have long had interest in Davis. Coach Bill Belichick flew to Chattanooga to have a private workout with Davis before the 2017 NFL Draft, according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press. But a bulging disk in his back stopped NFL teams from drafting him.

Davis' strengths include good build in his lower body and upper body strength to create separation with arm extension, according to his draft profile. His weaknesses include lacking flexibility in his lower body and a lack of range. The draft profile projected Davis as a sixth or seventh round draft selection.

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