New England Patriots

The New England Patriots have completed rookie cornerback Duke Dawson’s first NFL contract, according to ESPN’s Mike Reiss on Twitter.

Dawson originally went to the Pats at No. 56 overall in the 2018 NFL Draft. The 21-year-old cornerback out of Florida projects as a slot corner at the NFL level and should be able to compete for a starting spot right out of training camp.

Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio told reporters after day two of the draft that they had Dawson on their radar for longer than other prospects, because the corner had previously considered declaring for the draft in 2017.

Sep 16, 2017, Gainesville, FL, USA: Florida Gators defensive back Duke Dawson against the Tennessee Volunteers during the second half at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. (Photo Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

Sep 16, 2017, Gainesville, FL, USA: Florida Gators defensive back Duke Dawson against the Tennessee Volunteers during the second half at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. (Photo Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

Dawson told reporters in his first in-person media availability at Gillette Stadium on Tuesday that he’s enjoying the ride so far as an NFL player.

“It’s going pretty great,” Dawson said. “It’s great for me. Just come in every day, learn and improve. It’s a great opportunity.”

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