Summer vacation has begun for the New England Patriots.

Head coach Bill Belichick on Wednesday canceled the team’s third and final mandatory minicamp practice, officially concluding New England’s offseason program. Players now will be off until training camp begins in late July (exact date TBA).

Fans will get their first look at the 2023 Patriots once camp kicks off, but reporters were able to watch a total of five spring practices — three voluntary organized team activities and two days of minicamp.

Here are our biggest winners and losers from those non-padded practices:

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CB Christian Gonzalez
The Patriots’ first-round draft pick looked the part in his first taste of NFL action, regularly running with the defensive starters and flashing his elite athleticism. Basically, he came as advertised, looking tall, long and fluid and not committing any egregious errors in coverage. Gonzalez projects as the Patriots’ CB1 and has the traits to become a lockdown cover man. But the real test will come once the pads come on in camp.

LB/S Marte Mapu
Mapu sported a red non-contact jersey all spring as he recovered from pre-draft pectoral surgery, but that didn’t stop him from making an immediate impact at multiple positions. The third-round rookie saw reps at linebacker and safety and was around the ball a lot, notching an interception in the final OTA and a pass breakup in each of the two minicamp sessions. His teammates clearly are impressed. Jalen Mills said he has a “perfect blend” of instincts and football IQ, and Matthew Judon compared him to Jamie Collins and Dont’a Hightower. That’s high praise for a first-year player coming from the FCS. Mapu also was known as a hard hitter in college, so he’ll be an exciting player to watch once full contact commences.

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TEs Mike Gesicki and Hunter Henry
Based on what we’ve seen thus far, Bill O’Brien’s new Patriots offense will make heavy use of two-tight end sets. It helps, then, that Gesicki and Henry both were among the most reliable and productive targets for Mac Jones this spring. Over the two minicamp practices, Patriots quarterbacks went 11-for-12 when targeting Gesicki and 11-for-13 when targeting Henry, including a couple of impressive downfield completions to each.

CB Jack Jones
Jones did not speak with reporters this spring, so we don’t know whether he’s motivated to make amends after his promising rookie season ended with a team-imposed suspension. But it certainly looked that way. The second-year corner was a ball hawk in both minicamp practices, breaking up two passes in the first and breaking off from his receiver to make a highlight-reel interception in the second. It’s not yet clear how the Pariots’ cornerback depth chart will look this season, but Gonzalez, Jack Jones and Jonathan Jones have been the top three options so far, with Marcus Jones also rotating in.

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QB Mac Jones
This wasn’t a flawless spring for Jones and the offense, which struggled at times Tuesday against what should be a fearsome Patriots defense. And it was notable that backup Bailey Zappe got some run with the starters on both days of minicamp. But Jones lands on this list because he’s now operating a functional NFL offense led by O’Brien. The QB raved this spring about how much more comfortable and confident he feels compared to last year, saying O’Brien has brought a sense of normalcy back to New England’s offense and given him the “tools” to make any necessary adjustments. That group finally is moving in the right direction, even if the Patriots’ defense — which returned nearly every contributor from last season and added a few impact rookies — is further along at this stage.

WR JuJu Smith-Schuster
The Patriots’ marquee free agent addition has yet to practice in front of reporters since signing in March. He missed all five of the team’s open practices as he dealt with an undisclosed injury, costing him valuable reps with Mac Jones. Smith-Schuster also did not link up with Jones for any informal throwing sessions before OTAs, so the pair’s on-field work together has been limited. That’s not ideal for someone expected to replace Jakobi Meyers as New England’s top wideout. Smith-Schuster’s injury concerns could be a factor in the Patriots’ pursuit of DeAndre Hopkins, who’s set to visit New England this week.

WR Tyquan Thornton
Thornton got off to a terrific start this spring, dazzling in the Patriots’ first open OTA. But that was the last we saw of the 2022 second-rounder, who missed the remaining practices with a reported “soft-tissue-related injury.” Thornton has breakout potential after an underwhelming rookie year, but he needs to stay on the field.

The roster-hopeful receivers
With several prominent Patriots wideouts missing time, there were ample opportunities for the team’s up-and-coming pass-catchers to impress. None truly capitalized. Sixth-round rookie Demario Douglas had a strong practice early in OTAs but didn’t make much of an impact beyond that. Fellow sixth-rounder Kayshon Boutte sat out multiple days with an injury. Malik Cunningham needs a lot of work in his transition from QB to receiver. Tre Nixon still looks like a practice squad-level player. Raleigh Webb was plagued by drops. The most eye-opening member of that group might have been Ed Lee, an undrafted rookie out of Rhode Island who flashed slick hands and quick feet. But none of them made compelling cases for roster spots. We’ll see if any of the four rookies can make strides this summer.

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OT Trent Brown
Reporters caught only a fleeting glimpse of New England’s super-sized offensive tackle in spring practice. Brown skipped the voluntary OTAs, arrived late to minicamp after a hail storm reportedly canceled his flight, then spent most of Tuesday’s minicamp finale on a side conditioning field, taking no reps in team drills. Improved O-line play will be vital to the Patriots’ offensive success this season, and they can’t rely on Calvin Anderson, Conor McDermott and Riley Reiff to provide that. They need Brown active and on his game come training camp.

Featured image via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images