NEPD Editor: James Christensen
The Patriots have made an interesting signing today, inking former USC Trojan and Toronto Argonaut defensive lineman Armond Armstead to a future contract according to Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston and Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald.
Can Armstead make the team in 2013?
At 6’5″ and nearly 300 pounds, Armstead certainly has the size to make an impact in the Patriots defense. He is a gifted athlete that could play the 5-technique (3-4 defensive end) position, with the strength to be able to move inside when the Patriots employ an even front.
Armstead was much better outside as a defensive end for the USC Trojans, but I haven’t reviewed any tape of his time in the CFL, where he led his team with six sacks and won the Grey Cup.
Armstead likely would have been a top 100 pick without any health concerns, so this is quite a value for a Patriots team that is short on draft picks in 2013.
Don’t expect a Cameron Wake type performance from Armstead, he isn’t a 10+ sack guy. I can see him as a rotational lineman right away with an upside to a starting position within a year or two of playing in the NFL – contributing 5-8 sacks and drawing some double teams. He might get some Richard Seymour comparisons due to his size, but he wasn’t as good technically as the Patriot’s former 1st rounder.
The obvious reason that Armstead wasn’t drafted and had to take the CFL route was the heart attack that he suffered as part of the USC Trojans team in early 2011. He later sued the Trojans based on the use of Toradol injections.
He wasn’t cleared to play in 2012 and went undrafted, leading to his signing by the Argonauts. The heart issue isn’t Armstead’s only brush with the injured list. According to Howe, Armstead also broke a hand and an ankle, as well as spraining a shoulder during his time at USC.
Here is some footage of Armstead’s pro day workout: