Some took it as a sign that maybe the team was looking to bring in the eventual replacement for Tom Brady, who will turn 37 in August. NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah said on Wednesday's edition of "Path to the Draft" that there might be more to the Patriots' interest in the quarterback prospects than some people think.
"You have to do your homework, first of all. It is hard to predict where the quarterbacks will go in this draft class. We could easily see one of these guys slide down the board and Tom Brady isn't getting any younger," Jeremiah said. "But these quarterbacks, just because they get drafted by a team doesn't mean they're going to play there from start to finish. A lot of times teams will do their homework on these guys so that when they hit free agency and are on the market, they have a good background on them."
It makes complete sense, especially in the context that there's no such thing as too much information for teams when evaluating players. There's always the outside chance that Bridgewater, Manziel or some other quarterback will drop on draft day like Aaron Rodgers did in 2005, and the Patriots could decide it's the right time to draft a potential replacement for Brady that could even be called upon to help them win if needed in 2014.
Let's also keep in mind that Bill Belichick is the king of misdirection plays, so this could simply be a move to throw teams, and the media, off to what the team really plans to do in the draft. It certainly wouldn't be the first time this has happened and definitely won't be the last.
Another possibility -- one of the quarterbacks winds up in the AFC East and will play against New England twice a season.
"You save all of your evaluations," fellow analyst Charles Davis said Wednesday. "You may play against them. That way you have an early scouting report."
"Find out what their comfort zone is so that when you play them, you can get them out of that comfort zone," Jeremiah said.
Given how much stress Manziel caused Belichick's friend Nick Saban in college, one could certainly understand if the Patriots' brain trust is getting an early start on scouting a player like Johnny Football.