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2020 NFL draft: Eight players the Patriots could target on Day 3 of the draft

Related: The 50 best players remaining for the Patriots after the first three rounds of the draft

NCAA Football: East-West Shrine Game Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

The third day of the draft kicks off later today, and the Patriots have already addressed their needs at tight end, linebacker, and edge rusher, while also getting a high-upside safety on Day Two. The team will now need to look at solving its kicker situation and perhaps try to find a quarterback to develop behind Jarrett Stidham on Day Three.

Florida International QB James Morgan

The Patriots have been all in on James Morgan in the pre-draft process, but it remains to be seen if they actually pull the trigger on him. Morgan has ideal size and arm strength to play in the cold weather of Foxborough during the winter, but has issues with footwork and accuracy. He’ll need to improve his pocket mobility and accuracy in order to become more than a high-functioning back-up. If he’s available at No. 159, that’s the guy I want.

Georgia Kicker Rodrigo Blankenship

The Patriots are looking for a replacement for the franchise’s all-time scoring leader, Stephen Gostkowski. Blankenship is the top-rated kicker in the draft with a strong leg that plays well on kickoffs and has a career long of 55 yards. The two biggest questions will be if Blankenship will still be accurate when the conditions get worse, seeing he’s played his entire career in mostly warm weather environments.

Washington State QB Anthony Gordon

Gordon would be a good fallback plan if the Patriots miss out on Morgan with their fifth-round selection. He only had one year of playing time for Washington State, but made the most of it by posting great numbers. Functional accuracy can improve to maximize the opportunity for his receivers to run with the ball after the catch. He’ll need time to develop and be able to read defenses better before being more than a third-string backup.

Florida RB Lamical Perine

Perine is a jack-of-all-trades running back who can contribute in every facet of the game at his position at a mediocre level and be a core special teamer in the mold of Brandon Bolden. His skillset would make him the perfect number three back in a committee as a guy who can be an emergency fill-in player when injuries strike the position. There would not be any playing time available to him as a rookie in New England unless he can beat out Bolden in camp, but he could be a practice squad stash player who takes over the veteran’s role as early as next year.

Baylor RB JaMycal Hasty

Hasty may be the best receiving type back the Patriots can get in the draft. Thanks to the ability to read leverages in coverage and excellent acceleration, Hasty is a nightmare for linebackers to cover in the open field. He could be the heir to James White as the top receiver out of the backfield while biding his time as a rookie in a kick return capacity.

Georgia Southern Kicker Tyler Bass

Bass would be a good fallback option in the sixth round if Blankenship goes early in Day Threee and the Patriots draft their development quarterback with their fifth-round pick. Bass doesn’t offer too much of a drop-off from Blankenship other than maybe range on field goal attempts, but can also handle kickoff duties as well.

Navy QB/RB/WR Malcolm Perry

If Perry played in any other program, I’d probably not having him listed here. At the same time you can never discount Bill Belichick’s ties to the Naval Academy and this year they have a draftable prospect in Perry. There isn’t a real path to him making the roster in 2020, but he could be an interesting practice squad candidate that can help the scout team.

Rhode Island Guard Kyle Murphy

Murphy has multiple years of experience at guard, which makes him a potential back-up fit to New England not too dissimilar to Ted Karras. Murphy is capable of also handling the center position, which is vital for an interior offensive line prospect whose ceiling is a high-functioning back-up.