With most of his distractions in the past, Patriots defensive lineman Armond Armstead can truly concentrate on creating his professional career at the most elite level.

Armstead, who will turn 23 in August, has taken a unique path to this point. The NFL’s scouting service gave him a second- or third-round grade after his junior season at Southern California, but he chose to remain in school. Yet, Armstead wasn’t medically cleared to play as a senior, and he sued USC with the claim that athletic department-administered Toradol injections caused him to suffer a heart attack.

With all of that in mind, Armstead went undrafted in 2012 and spent the season in the CFL, where he recorded six sacks for the Toronto Argonauts. He didn’t miss any time, not even a practice, and convinced a handful of NFL teams he was ready for the big leagues. The Patriots won out by handing him a three-year, $1.485 million contract, including $655,000 guaranteed.

Armstead joined the Pats last month for the start of the offseason program, passed his physical and remained in town this weekend for rookie camp, so he has finally immersed himself in a degree of normalcy.

“I feel like the experiences I’ve had throughout my life have definitely — I wouldn’t say it’s a chip on my shoulder, but I don’t take anything for granted,” Armstead said. “I approach work every day, and I appreciate everything that I’m given a lot more. I’m not angry at anybody, but I just want to show everyone what I can do.”

At best, Armstead could grab starting-caliber reps on the interior next to Vince Wilfork, but there should be enough chances to garner playing time along the front. Armstead has essentially lined up everywhere, but the 298-pounder has spent most of his time as a 3-technique and outside rusher on the strong side in four-man fronts.

“I feel like I’m not just a pass rusher,” Armstead said. “I can bring other things to the table. That’s something I’ve done well at (USC) and done well in the CFL.”