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NFL Draft rumors: Could Patriots be moving Ryan Mallett to Texans?

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Could the New England Patriots be preparing to trade backup quarterback - and assumed heir apparent to Tom Brady - Ryan Mallett?

Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

Today is rumor/speculation day around the NFL, also known as the first day of the NFL Draft.  An interesting rumor is starting to circle, that the New England Patriots are considering moving backup quarterback Ryan Mallett.  What could New England receive for their 2011 third round draft choice?  

The speculated landing place for Mallett is interesting as well.  Landing with the Texans would take them out of the draft market for a quarterback in this year's Draft, one in which Blake Bortles, Johnny Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater, and Derek Carr have all been considered a potential first round draft choice.  

It would also indicate the Patriots would be in the market for a new second-string quarterback, either picking up a free agent or, potentially, selecting a rookie in the middle of the Draft.

Mallett is 1-for-4, for 17 yards, in his career as a passer, with one interception.  Obviously, he has primarily sat on the bench watching Tom Brady lead the Patriots' offense.  He has been, however, considered the passer they are grooming to eventually replace Brady, who is entering his 15th year.