Patriots Sign Fifth Round Pick Matthew Slater

FOXBORO -- The New England Patriots signed their first Draft pick this weekend when Matthew Slater reached an agreement with the team Friday.

A league source confirmed to that rookie Matthew Slater signed with the New England Patriots on June 13, 2008. Slater, a defensive back/ wide receiver out of UCLA was selected by the Patriots in the fifth round (153rd overall) in the 2008 NFL Draft. The Patriots traded up to get Slater in the fifth round, valuing his versatility as a multi-purpose player.

"I'm not sure where people valued a guy like me, but it's very honoring," said Slater after learning the Patriots selected him in the Draft. "[It is] very humbling to see that they recognize my efforts on the field and how much I love the game. I'm very excited."

The son of former NFL great Jackie Slater, the younger Slater knows that being Drafted and signing a deal is just the beginning to his career. Hanging around in NFL locker rooms with his father taught him the lesson that hard work and dedication are necessary for him to make the final roster.

"I saw the things about my dad that people didn't see: the blood, sweat and tears that he put into this game and how he prepared and the respect that he gave to the gave of football and I think that's something he has passed on to me."

Slater is the team's first 2008 draft pick to sign a deal. The Patriots selected seven players in the Draft: Jerod Mayo (1st round); Terrence Wheatley (2nd round); Shawn Crable and Kevin O'Connell (3rd Round); Jonathan Wilhite (4th round); Slater (5th round) and Bo Ruud (6th round).

[Editor's Note: Ruud was selected in the sixth round (197th overall) of the 2008 NFL Draft. The article previously listed him as a 7th round pick]

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