FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Zoltan Mesko impressed the New England Patriots so much that they made him the first punter drafted this year. And now he’s the only player at that position in the team’s camp.

The job seems like his to lose, but he sees it as his to win.

“The NFL is a business, so you never know when your job is on the line, and I haven’t made the team,” Mesko said Tuesday. “I feel I’ve improved, but there’s still a lot of work left to be done.”

There’s no doubt about his ability to send punts far down field.

He averaged 42.5 yards per kick in four seasons at Michigan and 44.5 yards as a senior.

Now he has to work on kicking the ball exactly where his coaches want it — out of bounds, very high to force a fair catch or over the head of the returner.

“It has to be quality over quantity,” Mesko said, “because in the game you’re called for one punt and you’ve got to deliver and I’d like to deliver for this team.”

New England spent a fifth-round pick on the 6-foot-5 son of a former professional bowler from Romania who moved to the United States at age 11. The learning curve has been steep with the Patriots.

Sometimes his evaluation comes in harsh words from special teams coach Scott O’Brien or Coach Bill Belichick.

Mesko is learning not to get discouraged when that happens. He’s getting help from placekicker Stephen Gostkowski.

“I’m not going to teach him how to punt, but I’m going to help him if Scottie gets onto him or Bill gets onto him,” Gostkowski said. “Just tell him we’ve all been there, tell him how we’ve dealt with it, tell him how other guys have dealt with it and just try to help him through the process of being a rookie.”

Mesko usually is among the first players on the practice field. At Monday night’s practice for season-ticket holders inside Gillette Stadium, he was on the field in full pads more than an hour before it was scheduled to begin.

That’s part of his adjustment to the pros.

“It involves a lot of hard work and you definitely can tell the difference between a college camp and an NFL camp,” said Mesko, who has been booming punts this summer. “It’s more of a mental game now. All the offseason conditioning tapers off during the season and now it has to be focused on technique. Just like golfers, not always the strong guy wins the tournament.”