On the heels of NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport's report that the Pats hosted the Louisville QB at Foxborough, Jenny Vrentas of Sports Illustrated noted Wednesday that New England also held a private workout with Jackson in South Florida, conducted by offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.
Rapoport reported that the New England brass is "intrigued and impressed" with Jackson. Adding a workout with McDaniels to the equation further deepens the connection between the Pats and the most dynamic quarterback in Thursday's draft. Despite his success and immense upside, many scouts quibble with how Jackson's ability will translate to the NFL. Allowing McDaniels a hands-on workout could help smooth over some of those lingering questions.
Sitting at No. 23 and No. 31 in the first round, the Patriots could be preparing if Jackson falls past several other QB-needy teams currently sitting outside the top 10 -- No. 11 (Miami), No. 12 (Buffalo), No. 15 (Arizona), No. 16 (Baltimore), No. 17 (L.A. Chargers) and No. 22 (Buffalo again). Bill Belichick could also be sizing up a move up the draft board possibly to pluck his next heir apparent to Tom Brady.
Regardless of the Patriots' motivations, it's clear their interest in Jackson is legit.