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Pats may be gauging Manziel’s value in advance of possible trade down


So why are the Patriots using one of their 30 on-site visits with draft-eligible players on a player for whom they apparently have no need?

In the event Johnny Manziel slides through the first round, the Patriots may have an opportunity at No. 29 to trade down with a team hoping to vault back into round one to get Manziel. By fully and completely scouting Manziel, the Pats will have a better sense regarding the appropriate trade compensation for a crack at Manziel.

In recent years, the concept of draft slots having a specific value has yielded to the idea that the value relates to the specific player for whom the move is being made. Two years ago, the second overall pick yielded the sixth overall pick, two other first-round picks, and a second-round pick not because of the inherent value of the No. 2 pick but because the move put Washington in position to draft Robert Griffin III.

That’s why the Rams are scouting the quarterbacks believed to be at the top of the draft. They won’t take one with the second overall pick, but they possibly will trade down with a team that wants one of them.

For the Patriots, it’s the most logical explanation for the decision to host Manziel -- especially in light of New England’s history of trading down in an effort to stockpile picks. If Manziel is on the board at No. 29 and someone wants to move up to get him, the Patriots will have a better idea regarding what they should request if they have a better idea regarding Manziel.