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Rookies coming to town

The various Patriots draft picks and rookie free agents will be in town starting tomorrow for a four-day rookie mini camp at Gillette Stadium.

The Patriots 10 2003 draft picks and yet to be announced list of undrafted rookie free agents will get their first taste of life in the NFL starting tomorrow. Top pick Ty Warren and Co. will be at Gillette Stadium Thursday through Sunday to officially begin the transition from star college players to the world of professional football.

And while many teams have already announced the names of their free agent signees, as an organization New England chooses to wait until the start of the camp and for all the official paperwork to be processed before making the list of players available.

One player will be looking to earn a job in New England and won't have to travel far for the camp is former standout Brown wide receiver Chas Gessner. The 6-5, 215-pound Hyattsville, M.D. native will look to turn a highly productive I-AA career into an NFL job. Gessner caught 292 passes for 36 touchdowns in his career at Brown. He tied a I-AA record with 24 receptions in a game last October, tying the 19-year old record set by future Hall of Famer Jerry Rice.

According to the Berkshire Eagle another camp invite with local ties will be Williams College defensive back Scott Farley. The Division 3 All American was not offered a contract with the team, but will get a chance to prove himself against a higher level of competition this weekend. Farley spoke with Patriots Vice President of Player Personnel Scott Pioli and was told the team wanted to see how he would match up against Division I players.

Earlier this week the Boston Herald reported a number of players that are expected to attend the camp. Tackle Walter Sampson of Louisiana-Lafayette, corner back Ricklan Holmes of Oklahoma State, linebacker Jason Hunt of Cincinnati, safety Shawn Mayer of Penn State and defensive tackle Kevin Watson from Occidental will all have a chance to pursue NFL careers.

Running back Derek Watson of South Carolina State, and a former 1,000-yard rusher at the University of South Carolina, is also expected to get a non-binding invitation. SCSU head football coach Buddy Pough confirmed in today's Times and Democrat that the former "Mr. South Carolina Football" was invited to the rookie camp with the hopes of impressing the organization enough to be offered a free agent contract.

Draft Notes

Gil Brandt of came up with some interesting notes on last weekend's draft. The 18 defensive players taken in the first round Saturday marked the most ever. … The University of Texas continued its streak of years with at least one player drafted to 66. Cory Redding, Derrick Dockery and Chris Simms helped to extend the steak. … Jordan Gross made University of Utah history as the highest drafted player from the school when he was selected with the eighth overall pick.

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