2010 NFL Draft: Sources Reveal Cleveland's Franchise Quarterback?

Samuel IngroAnalyst IApril 11, 2010

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 28: Quarterback Mike Kafka of Northwestern drops back to pass the football during the NFL Scouting Combine presented by Under Armour at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 28, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)
Scott Boehm/Getty Images

What's brewing behind the scenes in the Cleveland Browns' headquarters of Berea?

While many fans are making their arguments between Sam Bradford, Jimmy Clausen, and Colt McCoy, another contender has dropped his name in the Cleveland carousal hat.

That prospect is Northwestern quarterback Mike Kafka.

Sources close to the program this week have revealed that Kafka has flown completely under the radar prior to the draft, making visits this past week to the Cleveland Browns, New England Patriots, Cincinnati Bengals, and Oakland Raiders.

Only two of those teams still don't have a defined starter being Cleveland and Oakland, whose projected starters include Jake Delhomme and Bruce Gradkowski.

In Kafka's final NCAA season, he threw for 16 touchdowns and 12 interceptions, while racking up 3,430 passing yards; his accuracy being a solid 64.8 percent.

Mike Kafka's profile is on the rise since being named the Offensive MVP of the East-West Shrine game, where in the final seconds he passed for the game's winning touchdown and put up 150 yards on the day.

At the combine, Kafka's profile only continued to rise. At 6'3" and officially weighing in at 225 pounds, he has great size for an NFL quarterback. He registered a 32-inch inch vertical leap, a 9'2" broad jump, and a 6.78 three-cone drill.

At his Pro Day, he improved his 40 yard dash time to 4.81 seconds, while displaying his accuracy and mobility in front of scouts and NFL coaches, and only missing one throw. Coaches in attendance on Northwestern's Pro Day included Browns' coordinator Rob Ryan, Bengals' quarterback coach Ken Zampese, and Panthers' quarterback coach Chris Miller.

From a coach's perspective, Kafka's numbers and measurables appear to be incredibly coachable, showing his leadership throughout the season and as well in a pro-style Shrine game offense.

Holmgren appears set with Jake Delhomme for this season, stating "I think Jake will make us better right away. But we have to find the next guy. That's what we have to do".

It's no secret that Sam Bradford is Mike Holmgren's first choice, but he has acknowledged that it isn't likely that Bradford will get past the No. 1 pick. That's been accepted by Cleveland fans already as out of the question, leading to an increase in 'Colt McCoy in the second round' supporters.

Holmgren once again has said maybe that isn't such a good option either though, being quoted as saying:

"There are areas of the football team that we really have to help-the secondary, offensive line-to get the team better. This year, it would be pretty hard to use the second [round] pick to get a quarterback. It would be pretty hard for me."

While Cleveland newspapers and media outlets have reported every other prospect visit the Browns have had, there has been no mention of Kafka's visit. Could it be that Mike Holmgren is keeping his quarterback of the future under wraps, since it's looking more likely that Colt McCoy will be a St. Louis Ram?

Time will tell, but the last time that quarterback guru Mike Holmgren rolled the dice on a late-round pick with a strong arm like Kafka, it wound up being Pro Bowl passer Matt Hasselback.

Who says you can't catch lightning in a bottle twice?