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New England Patriots Links 5/03/10 - Rookie Mini-Camp Concludes; Veterans Arrive

Mike Reiss offers his quick-hit thoughts from around the NFL.

Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio said the following regarding the current makeup of the roster while speaking on the Patriots All-Access television show: "Twelve of the players we drafted last year, we’re still working with them. We added another 12 players [this year], so you’re almost talking about half of a 53-man roster. There is a little bit of retooling that takes place. I think every team goes through it at some point or another and we’re kind of going through that process now with the infusion of younger players and younger talent."

Mike Reiss highlights a few scenes from the Patriots draft room.

Anxious moments on trade up with the Raiders. There were anxious moments in the room when the Patriots were in the process of trading up in the second round, from 44 to 42, with the Raiders. Belichick looked concerned that the deal wouldn't get done in time as the team balanced three aspects of the deal: 1) Striking the trade with Oakland; 2) Reporting the trade to the league office; 3) Writing tight end Rob Gronkowski's name on the card. Folks in the Patriots' draft room implored their runners at draft headquarters in New York to sprint up with the card. It was learned later in the show that the Patriots got the card in with less than five seconds remaining. The team was nervous that the Ravens, picking at 43, were ready to pounce on Gronkowski.

Mike Reiss wraps up his thoughts after the second rookie practice.

A glimpse at what could make tight end Rob Gronkowski's presence unique. When a player is 6-foot-6 and 265 pounds, it's a bit unusual to see him running down the middle of the field as a legitimate threat in the passing game. His home is supposed to be closer to the line of scrimmage. But in both practices Friday, it was hard to miss Gronkowski streaking down the middle of the field with what looked like some pretty good speed. There is a long way to go toward the regular season, and the 20-year-old Gronkowski was one of the youngest prospects in the draft, but this will be an element in the offense that could be fun to watch. One statistic of note from Gronkowski's career at Arizona is that 50 percent of his receptions went for 10 yards or more.