The Patriots are hosting quarterback Jake Locker on a pre-draft visit at Gillette Stadium, according to James Walker of ESPN.com. Locker is projected by analysts as a first-round selection.
This reminds me of the team's pre-draft hosting of Tim Tebow last year, when the Patriots -- normally secretive in their dealings -- were spotted dining with Tebow in the North End.
It's good business for the Patriots to create the impression they are strongly considering quarterbacks. This could help when it comes to possible trade leverage during the draft.
As for the possibility the Patriots could actually select Locker, I view it as a long shot. The team has Tom Brady and Brian Hoyer returning and seems happy with Hoyer's development in the No. 2 spot; Hoyer was solid in the season finale last year against the Dolphins. Jonathan Crompton, a fifth-round pick of the Chargers in 2010 who spent last season on the New England practice squad, is also on the roster.
The Patriots might add a developmental-type quarterback in the draft, but the feeling here is that it would be a surprise if it's Locker. A more likely scenario would be a prospect in the mid-to-late rounds.