Georgia K Rodrigo Blankenship could be Stephen Gostkowski replacement

Ryan Hannable
February 26, 2020 - 2:00 pm

INDIANAPOLIS -- Stephen Gostkowski is 36 years old and coming off a season where he was placed on season-ending injured reserve following hip surgery in October. 

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Because of this, the Patriots should begin to think about his replacement and at the very least bringing someone in during training camp to challenge the kicker. It is also worth noting Gostkowski is in the final year of his deal and releasing him would save roughly $2 million against the cap.

One potential option could be at the NFL Combine this week -- Georgia kicker Rodrigo Blankenship.

Known for his Rec Specs, Blankenship has plenty of experience kicking in big games, including a National Championship during his time at Georgia.

"I got to play in a lot of games at Georgia that were on the national landscape and I feel that helped me," he said. "The most important thing for any specialist is your mental game and your mental toughness. It's been a recurring theme with my interviews. Asking how I handle adversity and tough times. I'm just trying to prove I'm going to be resilient even when things aren't going your way.

"Playing at the University of Georgia has been such a great experience. It's allowed me the opportunities to go out and play in high-pressure environments, high-pressure situations playing in games that have an impact on the national landscape each and every year. That's been great in preparing us to do what we do in the toughest situations."

Blankenship made all 200 of his extra-point attempts and was 82.5 percent on field goals.

The one question mark he has is his lack of experience in bad weather games, playing mostly in the southeast where the weather is great even in November.

"We had a couple of bad weather games this year. I think about Kentucky and Texas A&M where we had some torrential downpours," he said. "As far as cold goes we've been blessed to have some more fair weather being in Georgia. So, it's definitely going to be something to get used to going north.

"I tell them that all I can do is control what I can control. There's nothing I can do to alter the weather. I'm just going to go out and focus on my technique and trust that's going to get the job done regardless of the conditions."

Blankenship is one of three kickers at the combine this week.

Related: ‘Big brother’ Isaiah Wynn guides Georgia linemen at Combine