Patriots Sign FB Garrett Mills

The New England Patriots announced the signing of fullback Garrett Mills today. Mills was selected in the fourth round (106th overall) in the 2006 NFL Draft. The 6-foot-1, 235-pound former Tulsa product is the third member of the 2006 NFL Draft class to sign with the Patriots.

Mills was the team's first of two fourth-round picks in the 2006 NFL Draft . was the first to report that Mills signed a four-year deal on Friday. Although terms of the deal were not released by the team, ESPN is reporting that the contract is worth slightly more than $2 million with a signing bonus of $462,500. The deal also includes escalator clauses based upon performance, which could enhance the value of the overall contract.

A tight end at Tulsa, Mills is expected to fill multiple roles with the Patriots, including possibly spending time at the H-back position. He is one of four tight ends on the roster although the team is listing him as a fullback at this time. The Patriots have two other fullbacks currently on the roster, Patrick Pass and Heath Evans.

New England traditionally only carries one fullback and three tight ends on it's regular season roster. Mills will compete with the veterans for the final coveted roster spot at fullback, unless the team opts to carry multiple backs into the season.

Mills is the Patriots' third draft pick to officially sign a deal. The team selected 10 players total in the draft.

TFY Draft Preview had this in their scouting report on Mills:

Pos: Smart, hardworking skill player with a great feel for the game. Consistently finds the clearing in the defense and makes the reception in stride. Adjusts for the errant pass, displaying soft and strong hands. Makes the difficult catch in traffic, knows where he is on the field and always works to make himself an available target. Keeps the play in bounds running after the reception.

Neg: Lacks footwork sliding out in pass protection. Marginal blocking skills.

Analysis: Ultra-productive in college, Mills has no defined NFL position. Has a special-teams mentality and finds a way to get it done, which leads one to believe he’ll be a productive third-down specialist in the NFL.


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