Official website of the New England Patriots

Ferguson, Mangold absent at orientation

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (July 20, 2006) -- First-round picks D'Brickashaw Ferguson and Nick Mangold missed the Jets' opening day of rookie orientation because they aren't under contract.

Rookies were asked to arrive July 20, a week before the full squad reports, for conditioning work and meetings. Practice starts next July 28 when training camp opens.

Ferguson, the No. 4 overall pick, had an outstanding career at Virginia and is expected to start at tackle this season. Mangold, the No. 29 overall pick out of Ohio State, is expected to start at center. Talks with them should pick up next week.

All 10 draft picks missed the first day. But two signed deals later July 20: fifth-round selection Jason Pociask, a tight end from Wisconsin, and seventh-round pick Titus Adams, a defensive end from Nebraska.

The others who have yet to sign: second-round pick Kellen Clemens, expected to challenge for the starting quarterback job, linebacker Anthony Schlegel, safety Eric Smith, receiver Brad Smith, running back Leon Washington, and cornerback Drew Coleman.

Nearly all those in attendance July 20 were undrafted rookie free agents.

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