The 6'5'', 290-pound defensive tackle played his college ball at Southern Cal from 2008-2010 and if not for a bizarre medical issue suffered in early 2011, which caused him to miss that season (per Pedro Moura of ESPNLosAngeles), Armstead probably would have been drafted early in the 2012 draft.
According to Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston, Armstead told reporters at rookie mini camp that NFL scouts informed him that he would have been a "second- or third-round" pick had he entered the draft following his junior season.
However, with teams concerned about his health, he went undrafted in 2012 and headed up North, in part to prove he was healthy.
Armstead terrorized quarterbacks for the Toronto Argonauts in 2012, grabbing six sacks and 43 tackles on his way to being named a CFL All-Star.
After completing a full season in the CFL, many teams showed interest in Armstead, including the Philadelphia Eagles and Indianapolis Colts (as reported by Adam Schefter of ESPN), but he ultimately chose the Patriots, where the thought of playing next to perennial Pro Bowler Vince Wilfork was likely too tempting to pass up.
While it's not set in stone where the Patriots will line him up, it's likely that Armstead will be vying for a full-time job at defensive tackle. At worst, it's likely he'll be used as an interior pass rusher in passing situations where guys like Kyle Love haven't been able to muster up much of an inside push.
In a recent interview, Toronto Argonauts general manager Jim Barker explained the type of player Armstead is (per Reiss), saying:
"[He is an] active player who plays very smart...He's an above-average pass-rusher who plays the run well. He's a solid all-around player, a phenomenal young man...He was used for us both as a nose guard - he's obviously not Vince Wilfork, that's not what he does, he's not a two-gap player in a 30 front - and 3 technique [outside shade on the guard]. He played on the edge some in the 30 front but not much. It wasn't that he couldn't do it, it's that we didn't play a lot of 30 front. He was moved around inside and was mainly an inside player for us. He ended up being named All-CFL as a rookie, which is very rare."
According to Dan Pompei of the National Football Post, one NFL general manager sees a lot of potential in Armstead.
"He has length, and natural pass rush. He flashes power...He's still raw. But he has things you can't coach. At this point he's more athletic than refined."
Given his undeniable talent, it seems that Armstead has always been destined to play in the NFL, he just had to overcome a few more obstacles than most to get there.
Now that he has finally arrived, it's up to him to prove that he is the top-flight defender that the Patriots believe he is.
James DiMaio is a Yahoo! contributor who also covers the NFL and the New England Patriots for Bleacher Report.
You can follow James on Twitter @JamesDiMaio.
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