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Christian Gonzalez leading Patriots’ first-year players into rookie minicamp

New England’s drafted and undrafted rookies will get their first real taste of life in the NFL this weekend.

NFL Combine Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The New England Patriots’ first-year players will soon get their first real taste of life in the NFL. This weekend, after all, the club will hold its rookie minicamp.

Between Friday and Sunday, the youngsters will go through a series of club-led activities. They will participate in non-contact, non-padded workouts with the coaching staff, and also go through physical examinations and first introductions into the Patriots’ scheme and overall daily routine.

Of course, the NFL-NFLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement will also have a say in what players are permitted to do this weekend: they are allowed to participate in activities for a maximum of 10 hours per day, for example, while no contact or live tackling is allowed during on-field drills.

It will be more of an orientation weekend than anything else. Nonetheless, rookie minicamp is still another important step on the journey from the college game to pro football — one that will be taken by New England’s 12 draft picks, three reported undrafted free agent signings, and at least tryout players:

  • CB Christian Gonzalez (1-17)
  • DE Keion White (2-46)
  • LB/S Marte Mapu (3-76)
  • C Jake Andrews (4-107)
  • K Chad Ryland (4-112)
  • G Sidy Sow (4-117)
  • G Atonio Mafi (5-144)
  • WR Kayshon Boutte (6-187)
  • P Bryce Baringer (6-192)
  • WR Demario Douglas (6-210)
  • CB Ameer Speed (6-214)
  • CB Isaiah Bolden (7-245)
  • QB Malik Cunningham (UDFA)*
  • TE Johnny Lumpkin (UDFA)*
  • LB Jourdan Heilig (UDFA)*
  • WR Ed Lee (Tryout)*
  • WR Dox Aitken (Tryout)*


There is a chance that the Patriots add to this group, though. Not only can they bring him more rookie free agents, they are also allowed to invite up to five veterans on a tryout basis who are currently unsigned by any team.

The odds are against finding future contributors through those tryouts might be minimal, but New England has struck gold in the past: in 2014, cornerback Malcolm Butler was able to earn a roster spot after getting invited to rookie minicamp. Nine months later, he made the game-winning interception in Super Bowl 49.

As for the rookie players under contract with the team, they will turn their attention to the rookie developmental program after this weekend. Five days a week for over a seven-week span, they will be brought up to speed on all things NFL.

In addition, the Patriots are currently in Phase 2 of their voluntary offseason workout program. They will transition into Phase 3 next week, including 10 days of organized team activities as well as mandatory minicamp on June 12-14.