Late Round Targets

It doesn't seem likely that a quarterback is going to fall to the Jacksonville Jaguars in the first round of the NFL draft, however general manager Gene Smith did indicate they will look for a quarterback that they could develop. Find out which late round developmental prospects the Jaguars are paying attention to.

It's clear the Jaguars need to address the quarterback position at somepoint in the draft. While it's possible they could target a player like Tony Pike or Dan LeFevour in the mid-rounds, let's take a look at some late round prospects who could be developed into some gems. In this installment, we're going to take a look at Northwestern's quarterback, Mike Kafka.


Height: 6-3
Weight: 225 lbs.
40-yard Dash: 5.02

Scouting Report:

Kafka generally puts the ball on his targets within 10-12 yards. He gives his receiver a chance to make a play after the catch and throws well on the move. Good touch on screen passes and fades. There are concerns about his accuracy down the field, as he was not required to do that often in the Northwestern spread offense. He played almost exclusively in the shotgun, limiting his drops to three steps or less. In the spread offense he threw lots of timing passes short. He has a nice and quick over-the-top release. Kafka also posses a very good ball fake on read option and play action plays, often throwing in a quick pump throw to further confuse the defense. He is a very smart player who manages the game well, but he typically will throw to his first read given the offense. When he does throw down the field however, he does show a tendancy to look off the safety which is promising for his future in the NFL. He does throw too many interceptions staring down his primary target, though.

He is not overly quick, but he can pull the ball down and make some yards with his feet. While he is mobile despite his slow 40-time, he does tend to get happy feet when he's in the pocket too long. Kafka has good size for quarterback sneaks in short-yardage situations and he's not afraid to lower his head and take a hit for a first down. It's rather surprising the amount of rushing yards he is able to manufacture given his lack of real athleticism. He is an intelligent player capable of understanding and running a pro-style offense, as he showed in the East West Shrine game. He was named the East West offensive MVP after leading the East team to a 13-10 come from behind victory. He ended the day completing 18 of 27 passes for 150 yards and the game winning touchdown.

In his final game, Mike Kafka was also one of the stars of one of the better bowl games in recent memory, a 38-35 overtime to Auburn in the Outback Bowl. Kafka threw for a Northwestern record 532 yards, four touchdowns, five interceptions and he also rushed for another touchdown. While Kafka did turn the ball over five times, he continued to fight the entire game scoring two late game touchdowns to send it into overtime. The ability to bring a team back is something NFL scouts generally look for and was something Kafka showed he was able to do in both the Outback Bowl and the East West Shrine game.

Mike Kafka was interviewed by the Jacksonville Jaguars at the NFL Combine and his pro day is Thursday, March 11th.

Alfie Crow is a contributor to and also the co-host of CB Sports Radio on ESPN 1420 in St. Augustine, FL. You can contact him at or follow him on twitter @alfiecrow

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