Patriots Minicamp Observations: Malcolm Mitchell Among Rookie Standouts

FOXBORO, Mass. — Apparently Malcolm Mitchell needed a day off before his breakout party.

The New England Patriots rookie wide receiver made two highlight grabs during Thursday’s final mandatory minicamp session after missing Wednesday’s practice. He made a leaping one-handed catch on a Jacoby Brissett pass in the end zone during 11-on-11 drills. Mitchell also pulled in a back-shoulder pass from Brissett during 7-on-7s.

Mitchell had eight total receptions during team drills.

Here what else went down at Thursday’s minicamp session:

— Tom Brady was 29-of-37 passing overall in team drills and 14 of 17 specifically during 11-on-11s. Jimmy Garoppolo went 29 of 41 with two interceptions overall in team drills and 11 of 15 in 11-on-11s. Brissett, a rookie, was 30 of 43 with an interception overall in team drills and 16 of 26 with an interception in 11-on-11s. Garoppolo still looked solid, but it was perhaps his weakest performance of the spring thus far.

— Linebacker Dont’a Hightower picked off Garoppolo in 7-on-7 drills. Rookie cornerback Cyrus Jones intercepted Garoppolo in 2-on-2 drills. Rookie linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill picked off Brissett in 11-on-11s.

— Grugier-Hill, safety Jordan Richards and cornerbacks Malcolm Butler and Cre’von LeBlanc broke up passes during practice. Mitchell, wide receiver DeAndre Carter and tight ends A.J. Derby, Martellus Bennett and Clay Harbor dropped passes.

— Running back James White received effusive praise from Brady for his route-running skills during a positional drill. White’s route-running ability appears to have improved over the past year. White, Donald Brown, Brandon Bolden and D.J. Foster have spent a lot of time on their route running this summer. White and Foster have impressed in the drills.

— With Shaq Mason, Tre’ Jackson and Josh Kline out of practice, rookie Joe Thuney is getting a lot of work with the starters. He’s mostly playing left guard and center for now. Jonathan Cooper has mostly played right guard in minicamp.

— Foster appeared to tweak his left hamstring midway through practice. He never left the field, but he also didn’t return to action after the injury.

— Aaron Dobson led the way with 12 receptions during team drills. We’ll see how he looks in padded practices and whether he can stay healthy before we get too excited about the fourth-year pro. Chris Hogan has had the surest hands of all receivers this spring, and he had eight catches Thursday.

Thumbnail photo via Thumbnail photo via Doug Kyed/NESN

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