As pre-draft meetings go, here’s news of a really interesting one.
The Patriots will meet with Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel on Wednesday, NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported on Tuesday. (And for those wondering, Rapoport added that he was not telling an April Fool’s joke.)
Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald also reports the Patriots will host Manziel, the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner.
The Patriots also met last week with UCF quarterback Blake Bortles, Albert Breer of NFL Media reported Tuesday. According to Breer, the club was also studying other Knights prospects.
The Patriots pick 29th in the 2014 NFL Draft, and it does not seem likely that Manziel would slide that far down the board. Moreover, the Patriots are set at quarterback in the near term with Tom Brady under center. However, it doesn’t hurt the Patriots to do a little due diligence on one of the top prospects at a position at which they will need a new starter once Brady’s time comes to an end with the franchise. Also, top backup Ryan Mallett will be an unrestricted free agent after the 2014 season.
As our MDS also points out, it’s possible the Patriots will use the meeting with Manziel to gather some intelligence on various topics, including the spread offense.
No matter the Patriots’ reasoning for meeting with Manziel, the visit adds a little intrigue to a pre-draft process that’s grown longer this year with the draft pushed to May.