Patriots Minicamp Day 1 Observations: Cornerbacks Shine In Sloppy Practice

The first day of mandatory spring minicamp is in the books for the New England Patriots, and the offensive unit likely wants a do-over.

There was cold rain throughout the entire two-hour practice, leading to sloppy play from all three Patriots quarterbacks. At one point, the entire offense had to take a lap after a particularly sloppy series during team drills.

Here’s our full list of observations from Tuesday’s practice. The Patriots have two more days of mandatory minicamp.

— Wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell, linebacker Dont’a Hightower, defensive tackle Alan Branch, long snapper Joe Cardona, kicker Stephen Gostkowski and undrafted offensive tackle Max Rich, who were absent at the first OTAs session open to the media, returned to practice for minicamp.

— Offensive tackles Nate Solder and undrafted rookie Andrew Jelks were the lone absentees.

— Branch, Hightower, Mitchell and safety Duron Harmon worked on a lower field during drills away from their teammates. Linebacker Jonathan Freeny wore a red non-contact jersey.

— The Patriots began practice running a two-minute drill. Running back Rex Burkhead, wide receivers Brandin Cooks, Julian Edelman and Chris Hogan and tight end Rob Gronkowski were on the first team with quarterback Tom Brady. Running back Mike Gillislee spent the majority of practice with the third team, which is something to monitor moving forward.

— The Patriots then moved to a 2-on-2 drill. Here were the results of 1-on-1 matchups:

Cooks beat CB Malcolm Butler
CB Stephon Gilmore broke up a pass intended for Hogan
WR Devin Lucien beat CB Eric Rowe
CB Kenny Moore beat WR Matthew Slater
CB D.J. Killings beat WR Cody Hollister
Hogan beat Butler
CB Dwayne Thomas beat WR DeAndrew White
Edelman beat Killings
Hollister beat CB Justin Coleman

— The Patriots moved on to team drills. Brady was 16 of 29 overall and 13 of 17 in 11-on-11s. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was just 10 of 27 overall and 4 of 18 in 11-on-11s. Third-string QB Jacoby Brissett was 19 of 26 overall and 8 of 13 in 11-on-11s. There were no interceptions but plenty of fumbled snaps.

— Edelman, running back James White, tight end James O’Shaughnessy and Cooks each had one drop apiece. Hollister had two drops and tight end Dwayne Allen dropped three passes. The conditions were very cold and very wet for early June in New England. Passes also were soaring and dropping for the quarterbacks. It was a very sloppy day for the offense.

— Cornerbacks Kenny Moore (an undrafted rookie) and Jonathan Jones (a 2016 undrafted free agent) were standouts. Each player made two pass breakups in team drills. Butler, safety Devin McCourty and defensive end Deatrich Wise also got their hands on passes.

— Hogan made a one-handed grab that drew oohs and ahs.

— Cornerbacks Cyrus Jones and William Likely, wide receiver Danny Amendola, Edelman, Cooks and safety David Jones caught punts in practice. Jones didn’t muff any, though Likely did drop a punt in his first practice with the team.

Thumbnail photo via Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports Images

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