FOXBORO, Mass. — Bill Belichick is quick to point out there’s a long way to go for all the incoming rookies, but based on what he’s seen thus far, the New England Patriots coach is enthusiastic about the class.

“The rookie class in general has been good, they’re really very attentive,” Belichick said at Gillette Stadium on Friday before New England’s third training camp session. “Good work ethic. Been really pleasant — a pleasure to work with.”

Belichick added: “I think all the rookies have shown up positive from time to time. They all have a lot to learn, a lot of experience to gain. But I think really the whole class has done things that kind of caught your eye and said, ‘Hey, this guy’s got a chance to help us here, help us there in that role.'”

Among the draftees, Belichick was asked about specifically was first-round cornerback Christian Gonzalez. The Patriots selected Gonzalez No. 17 overall and the Oregon product since has practiced with New England’s defensive starters. He’s impressed Patriots teammates and Belichick in his short time.

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“He’s been great to work with,” Belichick said. “Very diligent. He’s done everything we’ve asked him to do. He’s improved every day. Still a long way to go like every rookie does, but he’s been great to work with.”

Belichick also spoke of wide receiver Demario Douglas, who the Patriots selected in the sixth round out of Liberty. During the first two days of camp, Douglas looked to be the fifth receiver, with other fringe wideouts in the mix. Unlike other roster hopefuls, though, he’s worked with New England’s top offense.

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“Demario is working at returns, and offensively insane and outside. It’s a big jump for him from a competition level in college, but he seems to be transitioning pretty well. He’s a smart kid, he picks things up well. Learns quickly. So, all things that work in his favor, but we’ll see how it goes when things get more competitive next week.”

Featured image via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images