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News Blitz 4/17: Another QB prospect visits New England

Posted Apr 17, 2014

This edition of the Patriots.com News Blitz focuses on the upcoming draft and what direction the team may take with its picks.

According to ESPN Boston's Mike Reiss, Jimmy Garoppolo is the latest QB prospect to visit the Patriots. The 6-foot-2 quarterback from Eastern Illinois threw 53 touchdowns in 2013 and has been rated as high as a first round pick in this year's draft. New England has clearly shown significant interest in the quarterback position, as this is their third visit with a top quarterback prospect. Teams are allowed a maximum of 30 in-house visits before the draft.

The Boston Globe's Ben Volin and CineSport's Noah Coslov discuss whether these visits mean the Patriots plan to draft Tom Brady's successor in this year's draft.

Sticking with the draft talk, the Bleacher Report's Mike Freeman says that the Patriots are looking to move up in the first round to draft a top-tier wide receiver. NESN's Doug Kyed summed up Freeman's report and explains that the Patriots have shown interest in Mike Evans, Odell Beckham, Brandin Cooks, Marqise Lee, and Kelvin Benjamin. According to Kyed, a league source told him that the Patriots showed a lot of interest in Lee at February's NFL Scouting Combine.

"Evans should be a top-10 pick, Beckham and Cooks are expected to be drafted between No. 10 and No. 25, and Lee and Benjamin still could be available when the Patriots pick at 29," says Kyed.

Rob Gronkowski is reportedly taking his time rehabbing this offseason. NESN.com says that Gronkowski's recovery is on schedule but that he will be more patient than ever when deciding to return to the field. According to the article, the Patriots pro-bowl tight end is set to begin jogging soon as part of his rehab.

"Rob Gronkowski's knee might be healed by the time the New England Patriots begin training camp, but that doesn't mean he'll be on the practice field," explains the article.

But if you ask Comcast SportsNet's Tom Curran, he'll tell you there's no need to panic just yet. Curran says that he's heard Gronkowski is "moving well and progressing tremendously in his rehab."

But just in case Gronkowski isn't ready to go for the start of the season, Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald has an idea that could provide some insurance at tight end. Guregian believes that Austin Seferian-Jenkins would be a good fit for the Patriots at tight end. The 6-5 tight end set school records for most receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns during his time at the University of Washington. She believes Jenkins will be available at the Patriots 29th pick and may even fall to the second round.

"If Gronk isn't ready at the start of the season due to his comeback from ALC surgery, Seferian-Jankins could potentially step right in and help pick up some of the slack," writes Guregian.

Yesterday, Bill Belichick turned 62 and even though he's one of the oldest coaches in the NFL, Mike Reiss explains that he doesn't expect Belichick to retire any time soon. In an interview last month at the NFL's annual meeting, Belichick told reporters why he still coaches, "I just enjoy it. I don't know why. I just do."