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Agent: Patriots sign sixth-round pick Jemea Thomas

05.17.14 at 12:14 am ET
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The Patriots locked down the fifth member of their rookie class Friday night, as the agency for defensive back Jemea Thomas announced that the Georgia Tech product has signed with New England.

The 5-foot-9, 192-pound Thomas, who was drafted in the sixth round by the Patriots, played all four years at Tech as a defensive back, starting the final 28 games of his career on defense. As a junior, he finished second on the team with 86 tackles and four interceptions. In 2013, he started all 13 games as a senior, and led the team in solo tackles (73), total tackles (88) and pass break-ups (8). He had 9 interceptions in his last three seasons as a collegian.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Thomas has some positional versatility in that he could play in the slot, outside, or at safety at the next level.

“I think he has some versatility — he’€™s smart, he runs well, he’€™s a tough kid, he’€™s a good tackler. I think that there’€™s definitely a place defensively to have a player like that,” Belichick said of Thomas shortly after he was drafted. “Logan Ryan was different, but had some similarities to that last year where he played outside, he played in the slot, played some snaps at safety.

“We’€™ll see how much Jemea can do there. He’€™s done all those things in the past, plus he’€™s been a good special teams player. We’€™ll see exactly what that role is. Maybe he becomes very good at one thing or maybe he becomes a versatile player that is able to do multiple things. We’€™ll have to see, but it looks like he’€™s got the ability to compete at all three of those spots ‘€“ safety, nickel corner and on the perimeter. He’€™s an interesting guy.”

Thomas joins fourth-round draft choices Cameron Fleming (offensive line) and James White (running back), sixth-round draft choice Zach Moore (defensive end) and seventh-round draft choice Jeremy Gallon (wide receiver) as rookies who have already signed their initial contracts.

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