The Patriots had official pre-draft visits with Washington quarterback Jake Locker and Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett. This had some wondering if the the Patriots were looking for the successor to Tom Brady.
Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald asked why they met with both quarterbacks.
“When you’re picking where we are, in the teens or down in the 20s, you can eliminate a few guys, but after that, you need to know the whole board,” Belichick said over the phone. “There are players on the board that are not really a consideration for us, that we know other teams are going to have them rated a lot higher than we are, but you still go through the process and try to figure that out. What has helped us in making trades and maneuvering on draft day is understanding what we think is the value on the board as it relates to the whole league. It’s just doing your homework.”
That’s the idea. Aside from a few players you have zero shot at, you learn everyone. Because if you’re sitting there at, say, 28 and another team wants to trade into the first round for a quarterback, you better know his value. It helps you learn what you can get in a trade.