A.J. McCarron visited Patriots on Wednesday

Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron hasn't received the same kind of attention his counterparts have gotten this draft season.

Blake Bortles, Johnny Manziel and Teddy Bridgewater are regarded as top 10 picks. Derek Carr, Jimmy Garoppolo and Zach Mettenberger have headlined the second tier.

Then there's McCarron, a 2013 Heisman finalist that led Alabama to consecutive national championships in 2011 and 2012. A three-year starter that threw for 9,019 yards, 77 touchdowns and 15 interceptions during his time with the Crimson Tide, McCarron could make a team very happy in the third-through-fifth rounds.

One of those could potentially be the New England Patriots, which McCarron reportedly visited on Wednesday according to NFL.com's Gil Brandt.

It makes sense for New England to be interested. Alabama coach Nick Saban and Patriots coach Bill Belichick are close friends, so the visit could be the result of a well-placed recommendation. In addition, the Patriots could consider bringing in a new backup for Tom Brady and seeing what kind of value on the trade market they could get for current No. 2 QB Ryan Mallett.

If the Patriots pass on McCarron, another team of note could be the Jacksonville Jaguars, which actually need a quarterback. The same NFL.com report states that McCarron will visit with the Jags on Friday.

If the Jaguars decide to head in a different direction in the early rounds, McCarron could be someone to keep an eye on with their franchise, given the interest they are apparently showing.

Follow me on twitter: @JasonHButt

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