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Trying to figure out why Patriots would meet with Johnny Manziel

04.01.14 at 8:10 pm ET
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So why would Johnny Manziel meet with the Patriots?

While it’s unlikely the Patriots are in the market for a quarterback — and it’s also unlikely that Manziel would last until New England was on the clock at No. 29 — if there is a meeting set for Wednesday, it could mean one of four things:

1. Bill Belichick has often used his pre-draft visits on a player he knew he wasn’t going to be able to draft, but instead took advantage of the opportunity to use the sit-down as sort of an scouting report — a chance to get inside the head of a youngster who he’ll be facing down the road. (To that end, the Patriots will play four the teams who pick in the top 10 of the 2014 draft — Detroit, Buffalo, Minnesota and Oakland — which means there’s at least a decent chance they could see him in 2014.) As Nick Underhill of Masslive.com notes, they did the same thing with pass rusher Dion Jordan last year.

2. The Patriots are famous for the phrase “due diligence,” and that could certainly be the case here. There’s the real possibility that they want to take a look at him and kick the tires on someone who has become one of the more intriguing prospects in the draft.

3. Smokescreen. While Manziel doesn’t necessarily need any more buzz around him, the fact that the Patriots have displayed some interest in him would certainly resonate around the league.

4. As ridiculous as it sounds, and that’s why we’re listing it as the last reason here, the Patriots have always made a habit of drafting a quarterback ever year, regardless of Tom Brady‘s status. Not saying they’d push all of their chips to the middle of the table to try and chase after Manziel, but if something unforeseen happens, the New England braintrust wants to make absolutely sure it has all the info they need before making a decision.

When it comes to Manziel and the Patriots, it is worth mentioning that there’s one notable connection — he’s leaned on Brady throughout part of the pre-draft process.

“For him to reach back out to me after I extended a text message to him was extremely cool,”€ Manziel said at the combine when asked about his communication with Brady. “(It was) kind of a really funny conversation at first and worked our way into a little more serious conversation. It was really nice, and very thankful for him to be able to extend a hand out to me in the situation that I’€™m in.”

As far as the advice, Manziel said Brady kept it simple.

“€œBig thing was just enjoy the process,” Manziel said. “He kind of gave me a little joke — if I can teach him how to run like I can, he’€™ll do anything in the world for me. It was pretty funny hearing it from him.”

Read More: Bill Belichick, Johnny Manziel, Tom Brady,

Report: Johnny Manziel will meet with Patriots

04.01.14 at 8:02 pm ET
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Johnny Manziel will be having a pre-draft meeting with the Patriots on Wednesday, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Media.

Manziel is the most notable quarterback in this year’s draft. The Texas A&M product, who won the Heisman as a freshman, has made almost as much news for his off-field exploits as what he accomplished on the field with the Aggies. In his two college seasons, he has 7,820 passing yards and 63 touchdowns.

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Read More: Johnny Manziel,

NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: Louisville FS Calvin Pryor

04.01.14 at 4:58 pm ET
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WEEI.com will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that may be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2014 NFL draft. Here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’€™s time for the Patriots to make a selection.

CALVIN PRYOR

Position: Free safety

School: Louisville

Height: 5-foot-11

Weight: 207 pounds

Achievements: 2013 first-team All-AAC, 2012 second-team All-Big East

What he brings: Pryor is a strong player with good size who has solid ball skills and tackling ability. Analysts also say, though, that Pryor’€™s physical style of play can become a problem because he is occasionally lacks discipline.

Where the Patriots could get him: Rounds 1-2

Notes: Pryor was suspended for a game against Memphis on Nov. 23 after he violated an unspecified team rule. … He was second on the team with 75 tackles during the 2013 season. … At the NFL scouting combine, Pryor did 18 bench press reps — one of the top performances at the combine.

Related articles:

Yahoo! Sports: Louisville safety Calvin Pryor set to make impact in NFL draft

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Tale of 2 safeties: Pryor, Clinton-Dix offer different skill sets

Video: Here is a highlight video from Pryor’s time at Louisville

Read More: 2014 NFL Draft, 2014 Potential Patriots, Calvin Pryor,

Report: Veteran defensive end Will Smith visiting with Patriots

04.01.14 at 2:55 pm ET
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The Patriots are hosting defensive end Will Smith on a free agent visit, according to ESPN.

The 32-year-old veteran, who was cut loose as part of the great New Orleans salary purge of 2014, has 67.5 career sacks, but has struggled over the last few seasons, and is coming off a torn ACL that left him sidelined for the 2013 season.

New England is likely be in the market for a low-cost answer at defensive end/situational pass rusher behind starters Rob Ninkovich and Chandler Jones — youngsters Michael Buchanan and Jake Bequette have been underwhelming to this point in their careers, while 34-year-old veteran Andre Carter is an unrestricted free agent.

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Read More: 2014 nfl free agency, Andre Carter, chandler jones, Jake Bequette

NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: Ohio State RB Carlos Hyde

04.01.14 at 9:21 am ET
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WEEI.com will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that may be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2014 NFL draft. Here is one is a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’s time for the Patriots to make a selection.

CARLOS HYDE

Position: Running back

School: Ohio State

Height: 6-foot

Weight: 230 pounds

Achievements: 2013 third-team AP All-American, 2013 first-team All-Big Ten, 2012 second-team All-Big Ten

What he brings: One of the bigger backs in college, Hyde brings a bruising style of running that can be dominant at times. While not the fastest back, he has good speed and quickness to go with his hard-hitting ways. Hyde can take hits well and churn his legs to get tough yards. Scouts are concerned about his lack of consistency and willingness to hit the hole despite his bigger frame.

Where the Patriots could get him: Round 2

Notes: In 2013, Hyde ran for 1,521 yards and 15 touchdowns, adding 16 catches for 147 yards and three TDs. He averaged 7.3 yards per carry, tying him for eighth best in the nation. … At the scouting combine, Hyde only ran a 4.66 40-yard dash, reportedly pulling his left hamstring during the run. … Hyde was suspended for the first three games of the 2013 season by Ohio State because of a video that surfaced showing the 23-year-old attempt to strike a woman at a bar.

Related articles:

ESPN.com: Hyde suspended at least 3 games

Profootballtalk: Carlos Hyde hurts hamstring while running 40 at combine

Video: Here are Hyde’€™s 2013 highlights with Ohio State.

Read More: 2014 NFL Draft, 2014 Potential Patriots, Carlos Hyde,

Report: Patriots will visit with veteran free agent RB Michael Bush

03.31.14 at 11:32 pm ET
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The Patriots are set to host running back Michael Bush on a free agent visit, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media.

The 29-year-old Bush has been in the league for six years, and the 6-foot-1, 245-pounder had moderate success with Oakland — he had three years of 500-plus yards (2009-11) while with the Raiders, including a career-best 977 rushing yards on 256 carries with Oakland in 2011. However, he had two subpar seasons with the Bears, including just 197 rushing yards last season in Chicago.

New England is likely looking at possible replacements for veteran running back LeGarrette Blount, who recently departed as a free agent. In addition to Bush, there are a handful of veterans who remain on the market, as well as some possibilities when it comes to the draft.

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Read More: 2014 nfl free agency, LeGarrette Blount, Michael Bush,

NFL mock draft roundup, Take 2: Analysts all over map when predicting who Patriots will take at 29

03.31.14 at 6:25 pm ET
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With rush of free agency just about done and the pre-draft process in full swing, here’s a fresh roundup of analysis from experts on who the Patriots will take at No. 29. (For what it’s worth, we have New England going after Minnesota defensive lineman Ra’Shede Hageman if they stick at 29.)

Daniel Jeremiah, NFL.com (updated March 20) UCLA offensive lineman Xavier Su’a-Filo
Rob Rang, CBS Sports (updated March 31) Louisville free safety Calvin Pryor
Dane Brugler, CBS Sports (updated March 31) Alabama inside linebacker C.J. Mosley
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports (updated March 26) Notre Dame defensive lineman Louis Nix III
Pat Kirwan, CBS Sports (updated March 28) Oregon State defensive end Scott Crichton
Will Brinson, CBS Sports (updated March 20) Minnesota defensive lineman Ra’Shede Hageman
Chris Burke, SI.com (updated March 28) Auburn defensive end/outside linebacker Dee Ford
Todd McShay, ESPN Insider (updated March 6 — behind pay wall) Minnesota defensive lineman Ra’Shede Hageman

Read More: C.J. Mosley, Calvin Pryor, Dee Ford, Louis Nix III
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