Bill Belichick was a surprise speaker at the Combine on Thursday. (SBalestrieri/PatsFans photo)

Bill Belichick was a surprise speaker at the Combine on Thursday. (SBalestrieri/PatsFans photo)

With the NFL Combine starting this weekend, here are some of the top stories around the web concerning the Patriots.

ESPN Boston:

Patriots hire MikeĀ Lombardi: Mike Reiss writes that it is now official; the Patriots have hired former Browns GM Michael Lombardi as a special assistant to the coaching staff. Reiss adds that Bill Belichickā€™s comments put Lombardi firmly under the coaching umbrella rather than in the personnel department.

TE Jace Amaro already creatingĀ buzz: Field Yates speaks about how many of the mock drafts have New England taking Amaro at 29 and asks him if he reads any of the mocks that are posted.

Bill Belichick combineĀ transcript: Mike Reiss and Field Yates detail what Bill Belichick had to say at the Combine on Thursday afternoon.Ā  As always with these type of scenarios, Belichick waxed historic on some of his comments from Combines past.

Wake-up call: Day 2 at theĀ combine: Field Yates details all the highlights for Day 2 of the Combine and what we can look forward to on Friday.

Boston Herald:

Bill Belichick quick to adapt to changes: Jeff Howe writes that Belichick in his 30th year has seen lots of changes and has adapted to them. He also chats with UMass TE Rob Blanchflower and his return from a tough injury and what he ultimately would love to happen on draft weekend.

Boston Globe:

Bill Belichick talks little at NFL Scouting Combine: Ben Volin puts out his take on Belichickā€™s presser at the Combine and adds in his thoughts on the salary cap situation, free agency and the medical aspect of the Combine.

MassLive.com:

Arizona Cardinals GM Steve Keim says New England Patriots never called about Larry Fitzgerald Nick Underhill reports that the Patriots never contacted the Arizona Cardinals about acquiring WR Larry Fitzgerald last season.

NESN:

Patriots Pick Big Pass-Rushing Defensive Lineman In 2014 NFL Mock Draft: Doug Kyed writes that the Patriots will be looking at the defensive line rather than drafting TE Amaro as most mocks have them doing.

ComCast Sports NE:

How do Patriots stack up against the salary cap?: Tom E. Curran writes about the Patriots situation with the salary cap citing PatsFans own Miguel Benzan in his piece about how they stack up.

Bleacher Report:

2014 Patriots Draft: Pre-Combine 7-Round Mock Draft: James Christensen of both B/R and NE Patriots Draft presents a 7 round mock that has some intriguing possibilities for New England. And a very interesting first round pickā€¦.worth the time to read it.

Patriots Focusing on ‘Aaron Hernandez Clone’ Jace Amaro at TE: Karen Guerigan of both B/R and the Herald writes the Pats are looking for AH ā€œcloneā€ and writes Amaro is the perfect example, citing Amaro like Hernandez is more a receiving threat than a blocker.

Wide Receivers the New York Jets Should Be Scouting at the Combine: Erik Frenz is reporting from the combine for both B/R and Boston.com and heā€™s looking at the Patriots rivals from Jersey. Frenz lists some WRs that the Jets should be focusing on this weekend.