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Tom Brady: Malcolm Mitchell has Gronk-like hands

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The New England Patriots recent streak of failed mid-round rookie receivers is long and cringe-worthy:

Aaron Dobson (2nd round, 2013), Josh Boyce (4th round, 2013), Taylor Price (3rd round, 2010), Brandon Tate (3rd round, 2009), Chad Jackson (2nd round, 2006), Bethel Johnson (2nd round, 2003).

Not since Deion Branch in 2002 has an early-to-mid-round receiver worked out for Tom Brady. The hope is that changes with Malcolm Mitchell.

"I've just been impressed with him since the day he came in and his personality is infectious," Brady said this week, via ESPN.com. "He's growing along with everybody else. It's been really great to see."

In Sunday's victory over the 49ers, Mitchell, a fourth-rounder, turned four catches into 98 yards, including a 56-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown.

Speaking on WEEI on Monday, Brady continued to rave about the rookie's preparation, intelligence, maturity, worth ethic and big mitts.

"He's got great hands, really big hands for a receiver ... kind of like Gronk," he said, per ESPN's Mike Reiss. "Malcolm has such confidence in his hands and it's great for run after catch because the ball never gets to your body and slows you down. You can really snatch the ball away from defensive backs."

Never underestimate the benefit of big hands -- and the trust that affords a quarterback when he knows a receiver can snag a bullet.

Mitchell made the most of Chris Hogan being out of the lineup last week. The rookie should continue to earn more snaps as he gains Brady's trust.

After years of failing to hit on a mid-round receiver, the Patriots might have finally found a keeper.

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