Patriots did homework on Mallett

NEW YORK — While investigating every quarterback available in the draft, the Patriots did their homework on Ryan Mallett.

In the end, after interviewing Mallett and spending time with him, the Patriots felt like he has a chance to develop and grow. Down the road, they feel like he’s the heir apparent to Tom Brady.

At that point in the draft — the 74th overall pick in the third round — the value for Mallett was too great to pass up. I don’t think the Patriots would have picked Mallett unless it was here, because they had too many other positions to fill.

On the field, Mallett has the biggest arm in the draft and fits in perfectly with what the Patriots do offensively because of his ability to throw the ball downfield.

Don’t dismiss the mentor Mallett will have in Brady, who was a sixth-round pick in 2000 and understands what it’s like to slide in the draft. What better motivation for Mallett to become a better player?

— Michael Lombardi

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