The New England Patriots opened their 2023 Rookie Minicamp on Friday, the annual 3-day chance for the draftees and undrafted alike to get wet their beaks and grab a taste of NFL life.
At this year’s rookie minicamp, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is up to some of his old tricks.
Bill Belichick has a history of drumming up untapped talent from the sport of Lacrosse, and he’s invited Premier Lacrosse League star Dox Aitken to minicamp, according to a report from Doug Kyed at A to Z Sports.
Dox Aitken is a midfielder with the Atlas Lacrosse Club, one of the PLL’s six founding member clubs.
Prior to joining the Atlas, he played collegiate lacrosse at UVA where he was named a Captain. At 6’2″, 210 pounds (as a Senior at UVA), Dox Aitken has all of the makings of a future Patriots wide receiver that no team other than the Patriots had the wherewithal to identify.
In his senior year at UVA, Dox Aitken played in 18 games and had 17 goals and 6 assists. His top scoring seasons came in 2017-18 with 51 points (39G, 12A). Also in 2018-19, he had 52 points (44G, 8A).
Bill Belichick’s own son, Patriots LB coach Steve Belichick, played Lacrosse at Rutgers. So did Patriots Mike Pellegrino who was a Lax star at Johns Hopkins and in Major League Lacrosse.
During his tenure with the Pats, Belichick has also looked to Lax and found Chris Hogan who played Lacrosse at Penn State and who later debuted in professional Lacrosse after leaving the NFL
It remains to be seen if the Patriots will sign Dox Aitken to any sort of a contract. It’s evident that he’s doing well in professional lacrosse now. But the mere fact that he was invited to the Patriots’ rookie minicamp is very telling about the team’s interest.