Your typical third round selection is a guy who can contribute on Special Teams and be able to develop into a starting/major reserve role, in addition to providing quality depth behind the starter in case of injuries. By the end of the second round, most of the plug-and-play starters or guys who can start by Year 2 are likely taken before the 65th pick is on the clock. Going from the second to the third, you're talking about going from an early pick to a middle round pick. It's really rare for a guy with first round talent to even fall this far, because that would imply their issues are much more than failing a drug test or a raw skill set.
|59||Marcus Hardison||DL||Arizona State|
|61||Donovan Smith||OT||Penn State|
|62||David Johnson||RB||Northern Iowa|
|65||Clive Walford||TE||Miami (FL)|
|68||Duke Johnson||RB||Miami (FL)|
|69||Damarious Randall||S||Arizona State|
|70||Phillip Dorsett||WR||Miami (FL)|
|74||Ty Sambraillo||OT||Colorado State|
|77||Tyler Lockett||WR||Kansas State|
|78||Nelson Agholor||WR||Southern California|
|84||Justin Hardy||WR||Eastern Carolina|
|87||Rashad Greene||WR||Florida State|
|88||Cedric Ogbuehi||OT||Texas A&M|
|90||Mario Edwards Jr.||ED||Florida State|
|91||Doran Grant||CB||Ohio State|
|95||Garrett Grayson||QB||Colorado State|
|97||Anthony Chickillo||ED||Miami (FL)|
For the third round, there are a lot of players who could be inside-the-tackles RBs and #2/3 WRs on the board. That's not surprising, since that's typically where I would go to find those guys. There are a handful of edge guys sitting at the bottom of the third round board that could help teams in a rotation role. Of the prospects on the third round board, my personal favorites are Cedric Ogbuehi, Anthony Chickillo, Ali Marpet, Donovan Smith, Phillip Dorsett, and Rashad Greene.
Ogbuehi has experience at both guard and tackle, and the versatility could appeal to the Patriots as long as they are willing to stash him for a year as he recovers from an ACL tear suffered late in the season. Anthony Chickillo is a solid and steady player who is solid at most things off the edge, but isn't great at any particular trait. Ali Marpet is a high-upside OL from a D-III program who tested well at the Senior Bowl and the Combine to be a potential Day 2 pick in the draft. Donovan Smith is a powerful, but raw OT that could develop with a year with Coach DeGuglielmo and potentially take a starting OT role when Sebastian Vollmer's or Nate Solder's contract expire. Dorsett is a small speed receiver that could do some damage as a return man and from the slot once Amendola becomes a cap casualty next season. Rashad Greene doesn't have the speed that Dorsett brings, but he is a solid and steady option that could come in as the #3 WR and make tough catches with Julian Edelman, Rob Gronkowski, and Brandon LaFell blanketed.
The Patriots currently hold two selections in the third round of the draft, but I would be surprised if they end up taking back-to-back selections at 96 and 97. Depending on how the draft unfolds in the first round, the Patriots could end up trading up using the 96th pick in the draft since having the 97th pick doesn't really affect their third round board much. Areas the Patriots could add depth for the future are at RB, WR, LB, and OT.