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News Blitz 4/3: Explaining the Bridgewater and Manziel visits

Posted Apr 3, 2014

This edition of the Patriots.com News Blitz attempts to explain why the Patriots chose to visit with Teddy Bridgewater and Johnny Manziel

One day after the Patriots hosted Johnny Manziel and Teddy Bridgewater at Gillette Stadium, Ben Volin of the Boston Globe attempts to answer the question on every Patriots fan's mind: Why are the Patriots scouting rookie QBs? Volin admits that the Patriots may very well be looking for Tom Brady's future replacement, but the more likely reason for the visit is that Belichick is just doing his homework. The Patriots will play two teams with top-10 picks in the 2014 draft -- Minnesota and Oakland -- both of which could be the future home for Manziel or Bridgewater.

Comcast Sports Net's Tom Curran also offers his take on why the Patriots visited with Manziel and Bridgewater. If New England chooses not to move up in the draft, there are still a number of other quarterback options in this year's draft that Belichick may pursue. ESPN Boston's Mike Reiss offers a list of back up options at quarterback that could fit in New England.

Though most still don't expect the Patriots to draft one of the top-tier quarterbacks in this year's draft, there is one very opinionated radio host who does. Yesterday, Michael Felger said that the Patriots are gearing up for life after Tom Brady and he believes his replacement is coming soon.

"In one of the next two years they are drafting Aaron Rodgers. They are going to draft their version of Aaron Rodgers," said Felger on 98.5 The Sports Hub.

In addition to Johnny Manziel and Teddy Bridgewater, the Patriots also visited with former Saints defensive end Will Smith on Wednesday. Mike Reiss breaks down his strengths and weaknesses and explains how he could help the Patriots.

"Smith would probably be best in a scaled-back role similiar to what Andre Carter played in 2013, with his primary responsibility to play forward in a pass-rushing role," explains Reiss.

The Patriots are reportedly visiting with yet another top prospet today. Notre Dame defensive tackle, Stephon Tuitt tweeted last night that he is in Foxboro and is visiting with the Patriots. NESN's Doug Kyed explains that Tuitt is similar to Richard Seymour with regards to his size and pash-rushing skills. Coincidentally, Kyed has the Patriots drafting Tuitt in NESN.com's most recent mock draft.

"I keep coming back to Tuitt for the Patriots since he can rush the passer and play multiple positions," writes Kyed. "The Patriots would use him at three-technique defensive tackle in the 4-3 and five-technique defensive end in the 3-4."

ESPN Boston's Field Yates explained yesterday that Maurice Jones-Drew was almost a Patriots. Jones-Drew said in an interview with Mad Dog Sports Radio that his decision came down to the Patriots, Steelers, and Raiders -- of course, as we all know, he chose Oakland. Earlier this week, the NFL's Ian Rappoport reported that Michael Bush was in New England visiting with the team. He could be another option for Patriots if they're looking to add depth at running back.

Tom Curran explores the idea of adding Michael Bush and discusses whether the Patriots need more depth at running back after the loss of LeGarrette Blount to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

As the draft continues to draw near, the Bleacher Report's James Christensen broke down the top 5 remaining offseason priorities for the Patriots. Christensen believes that a "y" tight end, a pass-rushing specialist, an interior offensive lineman, a "move" tight end, and a versitile linebacker are the biggest areas of need for Bill Belichick's team