Pats minicamp notes from ESPNBoston

ESPNBoston.com's Mike Reiss has filed a few updates from Friday's Patriots rookie minicamp over on his blog.

Some highlights:

  • There were 26 players on hand: 12 draft picks, eight rookie free agents, five players in on a tryout, and free-agent signee David King (punter). There were also 41 members of the media in attendance.

  • Tight end Rob Gronkowski, a second-round pick, is a big presence at 6-foot-6 and 265 pounds, but Reiss thinks Gronkowski will be a legitimate threat in the passing game and was impressed with his speed.

  • Patriots second-round draft choice Brandon Spikes also made an impression on Reiss. "While most of the rookies seemed nervous or reluctant to say the wrong thing, Spikes appeared most comfortable in his new environment. It is easy to see how Spikes potentially could emerge as a leader of this rookie group," Reiss wrote.

  • Seventh-round draft choice, offensive tackle Thomas Welch, said that Patriots coach Bill Belichick was the only NFL head coach to put him through a private workout.

  • Reiss reports that, for the second year in a row, quarterbacks coach Bill O'Brien appears to be holding the unofficial title of offensive coordinator.