The New England Patriots used their lone fifth round pick to draft Stephen Gostkowski’s presumed replacement, Justin Rohrwasser.
With the No. 159 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the New England Patriots selected Marshall placekicker Justin Rohrwasser.
The 6’3, 230 lb kicker immediately slides in as the presumptive starting kicker for the Pats. Stephen Gostkowski, who had been with the team since he was taken in the fourth round of the 2006 NFL Draft, was released last month by New England. Gostkowski had struggled at the beginning of 2019 before undergoing a hip surgery that cut his season short ultimately.
Technically, Rohrwasser might still need to fend off Nick Folk, who remains an unrestricted free agent for the Pats. It’s unclear whether the two sides want an encore of their 2019 marriage or not at this moment — perhaps it will depend on just how good Rohrwasser is from the jump in New England.
Rohrwasser played his first two seasons of college ball at the University of Rhode Island, so he’s no stranger to the New England area. He made 75% of his field goals and 98% of his extra point attempts at URI before transferring to Marshall.
Here’s what ESPN’s draft profile had to say about the Patriots’ new placekicker, via Steve Muench:
"Rohrwasser is a big kicker who was the Conference USA special teams’ player of the year in 2019. He has the leg strength to connect from long distance. His accuracy improved last year. He also handled the kickoff duties for the Herd."
Sounds like everything you’d look for in a kicker coming out of college.
Indeed, it will be a strange sight to see new nameplates on the back of the guys coming out to play quarterback, tight end, and kicker this season for the Pats. In addition to Gostkowski, Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski are no longer with New England either in 2020.