New England Patriots Sign DE Kade Watson, QB Zach Robinson

July 22, 2010- By Jonathan Lowell

The New England Patriots made strides in bringing all of their draft picks into camp by signing former Georgia defensive end Kade Watson to a four-year deal. The team also penned a deal with former Oklahoma State quarterback Zac Robinson Thursday. The two players were the team’s seventh and eighth picks in the 2010 NFL draft.

Watson and Robinson were selected back to back in the seventh round with the 248th and 250th overall picks. They met last year in the first game of the college football season in which Robinson’s Cowboys defeated Watson and the Bulldogs. In that game, Robinson threw for 135 yards and two touchdowns.

The Bulldog DE finished his college career with 78 tackles and four sacks. He is expected to be a contender for a backup role in the Patriots 3-4 defensive scheme. That scheme is one of the reasons the Patriots won the AFC East last season, and NFL betting lines have them favored to repeat as champions at +130.

The 6-5, 316 pounder will battle for playing time with fellow draft picks Geno Atkins and Jeff Owens. The young man says the position battle has helped prepare for the rigors of the NFL.

“You can never stop getting better,” Watson said. “So I’m going to be working on everything. My hands. Better footwork. Pad level. Everything. For me, I think it’s just the all-around game and getting everything better.”

The four-year deal Watson signed with the Patriots is worth $1.83 million with a $40,000 signing bonus.  Each year his salary will increase from the base of $320,000. He is scheduled to make $575,000 in the last year of the deal.

Giving new players this type of money can only be justified if the Patriots make an appearance in the 2010 AFC Championship game where they haven’t played since 2007. Those setting NFL odds have the Patriots pre-season chances of winning at +600.

Robinson became the starting quarterback for the Cowboys during his sophomore season. That same year he led his team to the 2007 Insight Bowl where they defeated the Indiana Hoosiers by putting on an impressive offensive show. The 6-3, 218 pounder was named the offensive MVP of the game. Robinson set a OSU record for offensive yards that season with 3,671.

In his senior year, Robinson was considered one of the best quarterbacks in the preseason. He had some of the best offensive weapons at his disposal in Dez Bryant and Kendall Hunter, but the season quickly went south for the Cowboys.

Bryant was suspended during the season for his unreported conversation with Deion Sanders, and Hunter went down with an injury. Robinson suffered a concussion and a shoulder injury in a game against Texas Tech that halted any hopes at a Heisman Trophy.

NFL future lines set for Super Bowl XLV have the Patriots among the underdogs at +1200.

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