The New England Patriots announced on Friday that they signed second round pick linebacker James Collins and seventh round pick linebacker Steve Beauharnais.
The Patriots now have four draft picks under contract. The other two players they signed were third rounders Logan Ryan and Duron Harmon.
Collins, 23, was selected by the Patriots in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft with the 52nd selection overall out of Southern Mississippi. It was the first of two second-round picks by the Patriots in 2013. The 6-foot-3, 250-pounder, began his college career as a safety before moving to linebacker as a sophomore in 2010. He appeared in 52 games with 34 starts and registered 314 total tackles, 21 sacks, seven forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and three interceptions with two returned for touchdowns. Last season he led the team with 92 total tackles and 10 sacks.
Beauharnais, 23, was selected by the Patriots in the seventh round of the 2013 NFL Draft with the 235th selection overall out of Rutgers. It was the second of two seventh round picks by the Patriots in 2013. The 6-foot-2, 230-pounder, was a three-year starter at linebacker. Last season, he started all 13 games at middle linebacker and finished with 83 total tackles. He was named a semifinalist for the Butkus Award following his senior season.