According to two league sources, the Patriots have signed rookie defensive lineman Darryl Richard, the second of their two seventh-round picks (No. 234 overall), to a four-year deal.
The deal was reached earlier this week.
The last of the 12 players the Patriots picked in the 2009 draft, Richard is the fourth draft pick to ink a deal with the Patriots, joining cornerback Darius Butler, offensive lineman Rich Ohrnberger and fellow defensive lineman Myron Pryor.
The 6-foot, 4-inch, 290-pound Richard was a second-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection for Georgia Tech last season, after he had 34 tackles, 10 tackles for a loss and four sacks.
One of Richard's greatest assets -- on and off the field -- is his intelligence. He scored a 37 on the Wonderlic intelligence test given to NFL draft prospects. That was the highest score of any Patriots draft pick, and the top mark among all defensive linemen in the draft.
Richard earned his bachelor's degree in management in three years. He then completed a masters's degree in business administration in a year and a half, graduating one semester early.
In 2008, he won the James E. Tatum Award, presented to the ACC's top student-athlete among football players.
Richard plays the piano and was also the president of the Georgia Tech student advisory board in 2006-07.