Perry: Here's who the Patriots should target on Day 3 of NFL Draft

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Patriots director of player personnel Matt Groh made it clear in his back-and-forth with reporters on Friday: Bill Belichick's team was looking to get faster and tougher this weekend.

They accomplished the former on Friday night, adding arguably the fastest receiver in the draft in the second round (Baylor's Tyquan Thornton) and then following that up by taking an uber athlete in the third round (Houston's Marcus Jones) at corner.

They accomplished the latter in drafting a guard with new-age athleticism and an old-school approach (Chattanooga's Cole Strange) in the first round.

If the Patriots want to continue with those trends going into Day 3 of the draft, how can they do it? They have three fourth-rounders, three sixth-rounders and one seventh-rounder remaining so they'll have plenty of opportunities to add whatever characteristics they like.

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They could get faster at inside linebacker by taking Penn State's Brandon Smith, who is a remarkable athlete for his size (6-foot-3, 250 pounds), but there are some concerns about his grit so perhaps that would be a non-starter for New England.

Adding Miami (Ohio)'s Dominique Robinson or Virginia Tech's Amare Barno would give the Patriots speed off the edge at outside linebacker. Sam Houston's Zyon McCollum and UTSA's Tariq Woolen would represent wildly speedy boundary-corner additions. Rutgers wideout Bo Melton and Memphis slot Calvin Austin will make their teams, wherever they end up, much faster on Saturday.

In terms of toughness, Michigan running back Hassan Haskins would certainly give the Patriots a bump there; he was honored with the Wolverines' Toughest Player Award as a senior. Indiana linebacker Micah McFadden would add toughness, as would Boston College interior offensive lineman Alec Lindstrom. (You can hear more about Lindstrom's story from BC coach Jeff Hafley on this edition of Next Pats.)

Here's a full list of Prototypical Patriots still available headed into Day 3. There are plenty...

Inside Linebacker

  • Brandon Smith, Penn State
  • Darrian Beavers, Cincinnati
  • Micah McFadden, Indiana
  • Malcolm Rodriguez, Oklahoma State
  • Mike Rose, Iowa State

Outside Linebacker

  • Jesse Luketa, Penn State
  • Christopher Allen, Alabama
  • Dominique Robinson, Miami (OH)
  • Amare Barno, Virginia Tech
  • Jeremiah Moon, Florida
  • Luiji Vilain, Wake Forest

Defensive Tackle

  • Thomas Booker, Stanford
  • Eyioma Uwazurike, Iowa State
  • John Ridgeway, Arkansas
  • Neil Farrell, LSU
  • Noah Elliss, Idaho
  • Eric Johnson, Missouri State
  • Jayden Peevy, Texas A&M
  • Perrion Winfrey, Oklahoma
  • Matt Henningsen, Wisconsin

Cornerback

  • Chase Lucas, Arizona State
  • Tariq Castro-Fields, Penn State
  • Zyon McCollum, Sam Houston State
  • Tariq Woolen, UTSA
  • Jalyn Armour-Davis, Alabama
  • Josh Jobe, Alabama
  • Jack Jones, Arizona State
  • Josh Blackwell, Duke
  • Tony Adams, Illinois
  • Tre Avery, Rutgers

Safety

  • Tycen Anderson, Toledo
  • Percy Butler, Louisiana
  • Dane Belton, Iowa

Running Back

  • Hassan Haskins, Michigan
  • Zamir White, Georgia
  • Isaih Pacheco, Rutgers
  • Tyler Goodson, Iowa
  • Tyler Allgeier, BYU
  • Pierre Strong, South Dakota State
  • Master Teague, Ohio State

Receiver

  • Isaiah Weston, Northern Iowa
  • Kevin Austin, Notre Dame
  • Bo Melton, Rutgers
  • Tanner Conner, Idaho State
  • Calvin Austin, Memphis
  • Kyle Philips, UCLA

Tight End

  • Cade Otton, Washington
  • Charlie Kolar, Iowa State
  • Daniel Bellinger, San Diego State
  • James Mitchell, Virginia Tech
  • Jake Ferguson, Wisconsin
  • John FitzPatrick, Georgia

Quarterback

  • Jack Coan, Notre Dame
  • Bailey Zappe, Western Kentucky
  • EJ Perry, Brown
  • Skylar Thompson, Kansas State
  • Chase Garbers, Cal

Interior Offensive Line

  • Alec Lindstrom, Boston College
  • Jason Poe, Mercer
  • Darian Kinnard, Kentucky
  • Zach Tom, Wake Forest
  • Spencer Burford, UTSA
  • Dawson Deaton, Texas Tech

Offensive Tackle

  • Kellen Diesch, Arizona State
  • Chris Paul, Tulsa
  • Daniel Faalele, Minnesota
  • Matt Waletzko, North Dakota State
  • Nick Zakelj, Fordham
  • Braxton Jones, Southern Utah
  • Austin Deculus, LSU
  • Ryan Van Demark, UConn
  • Tanner Owen, Northwest Missouri
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