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The New England Patriots reportedly held a video-conference meeting with Florida International quarterback James Morgan ahead of the 2020 NFL draft.
ESPN’s Mike Reiss reported the update Sunday and noted scouts believe Morgan is an “intriguing prospect” after a strong showing in the East-West Shrine Game.
The 23-year-old Wisconsin native is coming off an up-and-down redshirt senior season at FIU. He completed 58 percent of his attempts for 2,585 yards with 14 touchdowns and five interceptions across 12 appearances for the Panthers.
Morgan enjoyed more success in 2018, his first year at Florida International after spending two seasons at Bowling Green. He compiled 26 TDs and seven picks in 12 games as a junior.
Ryan Wing of Fox 11 Sports reported the signal-caller’s performance during the pre-draft process, including at the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine, has led league executives to see him as a player “rising up the charts” to become a potential Day 2 (second and third rounds) selection.
“I’m just kind of doing what I can to stay in shape, and just be ready to go whenever,” Morgan told Wing about trying to stay ready amid the coronavirus pandemic. “Very strange not really having a set schedule and with everything changing day by day and new things coming up.”
In all, Morgan posted a 57.2 percent completion rate with 65 touchdowns and 34 interceptions across 42 collegiate games for Bowling Green and Florida International.
He does feature a prototypical frame (6’4”, 229 pounds) and the pocket-passer style the Patriots prefer after finding more success than every other NFL team over the past two decades with Tom Brady at the helm.
Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller ranked him as the ninth-best quarterback in the 2020 class with an overall grade of 59.
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If taken by New England on Day 2, he’d likely be given the opportunity to compete for the starting job with Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer during training camp. He’d be an underdog who’d need to shine during the preseason in order to earn the top spot on the depth chart, though.
Morgan may benefit from a year of development time at the NFL level before being thrust into the spotlight anyway.
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