Kafka could be late option at QB

Each week leading up to April’s NFL Draft, New England native Steve Muench of ESPN’s Scouts Inc., will identify a player he thinks could be a good fit for the Patriots. This week, it is Northwestern quarterback Mike Kafka.

“Brian Hoyer is their backup and I think he has a pretty good future, but if you’re looking to add some competition, I think Kafka is a guy who could work out well for them. There is a chance he goes in the fifth round, as he is gaining a little steam now. He could also be a sixth, or possibly slide to the seventh round. Overall, this is not a very good class of quarterbacks but he would be an excellent value in the final two rounds.

“One of the interesting parts about Kafka is that he doesn’t have ideal experience. He really wasn’t a full-time starter until 2009. One the questions is if hecan adjust to playing in a pro-style offense and he’s a little bit of a one- year wonder. Also, there is the question ‘Is he going to make that leap to a pro-style offense after playing in a spread scheme?’ He’s a little bit of an unknown.

“On the plus side, he’s at 6-foot-3, 225 pounds. It’s not like he’s Drew Bledsoe, but he has very good size for a quarterback He has good pocket mobility and he has all the physical tools, but more importantly he is a very accurate passer. When he’s in rhythm and he can get comfortable in the pocket, he can get on a tear and pick defenses apart.

“He was the Offensive MVP in the East-West Shrine game and we had a little bit of a chance to see how he was dropping back from center, which was important because most of the snaps at Northwestern were shotgun.”