The Patriots hosted Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson on a Top 30 pre-draft visit, NFL Network reported Monday.
According to the report, the visit took place two weeks ago and left the Patriots “intrigued and impressed” with the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner.
Relatively quietly, the #Patriots hosted #Louisville QB Lamar Jackson on a Top 30 pre-draft visit, sources say. The visit, which took place 2 weeks ago, left the organization “intrigued and impressed” with Heisman Trophy winner. They may have the option at No. 23.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 23, 2018
Jackson played three years of college football at Louisville, throwing for 3,660 yards, 27 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions his junior season. He also rushed for 1,601 yards and 18 touchdowns. His playmaking ability, speed, and versatility have sparked comparisons to former NFL quarterback Michael Vick, who called Jackson “the spitting image” of himself.
Multiple teams were reportedly interested in potentially utilizing Jackson’s talents as a wide receiver, but the 21-year-old said at the NFL Scouting Combine he prefers to stick to the quarterback position.
NFL Network’s Mike Mayock proposed the idea of Jackson going to the Patriots in a pre-draft conference call Friday.
“I think the first guy they’ve got to evaluate is Lamar Jackson,” Mayock said. “Does he or does he not fit for what they could do down the road? [Bill] Belichick is an outside-the-box guy, and I think that’s the first thing you’ve got to think of is — it’s a contrarian move — but can you go from Tom Brady to Lamar Jackson?”
Jackson is projected to a be a first-round pick. The Patriots have selections No. 23 and No. 31 in the first round and Nos. 43 and 63 overall in the second. Several teams picking ahead of New England are also interested in drafting a quarterback, so it’s possible coach Bill Belichick will make a trade to move up the draft board.
In addition to Jackson, the Patriots have reportedly worked out Richmond’s Kyle Lauletta and Washington State’s Luke Falk. Both prospects are expected to be drafted after Jackson in the second or third rounds.
With an obvious need for a developmental QB behind Tom Brady, the #Patriots have quietly been conducting private workouts leading up to the draft. Among those on the list: Richmond’s Kyle Lauletta and Washington State’s Luke Falk, per sources. Both potential Day 2 picks.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) April 18, 2018