Raise your hand if you Johnny Manziel's first pre-draft visit would be with the New England Patriots. If you're raising your hand, you're probably lying. Sorry.
However, according to multiple reports, including the Boston Herald's Jeff Howe and ESPN Boston's Field Yates, the New England Patriots will host quarterback Johnny Manziel on a pre-draft visit tomorrow at Gillette Stadium. And yes, it will be Manziel's first visit of the pre-draft season.
Yes, this is a bit out of the norm for the Patriots. While the Patriots will likely be in the market for a young developmental arm this draft season, Manziel is expected to go in the top five of the draft. With a Hall of Fame quarterback (some guy named Tom Brady) currently under contract for the next four years and signing little signs of regression , it's unlikely that the Patriots are considering trading up to make Manziel Brady's heir apparent.
So what gives? The Patriots only have 30 pre-draft visits, so why use one on Manziel?
It could be that Bill Belichick wants to get some advance scouting. With four AFC teams in need of quarterbacks drafting in the top five, it's very likely that Manziel will become a frequent foe of the Patriots. The Patriots may not have done a ton of scouting on Manziel, and this could give them an opportunity to pick his brain and get to know him better.
There's also a slim chance that Manziel could be on the board at 29. While I don't personally expect him to fall out of the top five, the Patriots could want to gage what the trade value would be for their pick if he were somehow on the board.
After all, Manziel is the most polarizing quarterback prospect in this year's draft. It makes sense that Bill Belichick would want to get a better read on him. As for my opinion of him, I like the kid and his confidence. He may not be conventional, but the conventional isn't really the norm in the NFL anymore. Manziel is a fun player to watch, and I simply loved how he did his pro day in pads (definite power move).