The New England Patriots started their rookie minicamp yesterday, but a crucial draft pick in fourth-rounder Josh Boyce did not participate in the team’s first practices on Friday. Boyce is also on the sidelines during today’s Patriots practices at the rookie minicamp, according to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald.
Boyce is still recovering from a broken pinky toe that he suffered before the 2013 NFL Combine, but he was still able to run a sub-4.4 speed that was extremely impressive to many. The former TCU Horned Frogs star averaged nearly 16 yards per reception as a vertical threat in college, and Boyce also has the ability to play in the slot if called upon. A strong wide receiver, Boyce has plenty of upside and is intelligent enough to pick up the Pats playbook. He is also honest enough to admit that the Patriots playbook is hard to learn, but I’m sure he will grasp it and has been studying it with zeal already.
The Patriots aren’t going to risk practicing Boyce during rookie minicamp since he is still recovering from the broken toe, and it is possible that he misses the Pats real minicamp too. That depends on the Pats mentality with regards to Boyce going forward, but I hold the belief that it is more important for a player like Boyce to transition to the NFL mentally rather than physically. Even though he isn’t practicing, Boyce is still learning the playbook, and he probably has more time to attack and digest the difficult Patriots playbook that has confounded even a few veteran wide receivers.
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