Brad Kaaya, QB, Miami (FL)
40-yard dash: DNP
20-yard shuttle: DNP
(Note: Sacks count as negative yardage.)
If you put a premium on college experience, Kaaya certainly has an edge.
The Los Angeles native started for the Hurricanes as a true freshman in 2014. Dealing with a leaky O-line — a recurring issue at Miami — Kaaya still fared well en route to ACC Rookie of the Year honors.
2015 produced the only missed game of Kaaya’s career — a midseason matchup with Duke due to a concussion. But he made improvements from his rookie year, most notably in completion rate and INT rate.
Kaaya took another step forward in 2016 and became Miami’s all-time leader in passing yards (9,968), completions (720) and attempts (1,188). He also led the team to its first bowl game victory since 2006 by completing 24 of 34 attempts for 282 yards and 4 TDs.
While in the lineup for all 13 games last season, Kaaya developed turf toe in his right foot on Oct. 20. That's why he didn’t run at the Combine (or his Pro Day). It’s expected to be a non-issue going forward, though.
Still, Kaaya has his fair share of critics this draft season. Consider Tony Pauline of Draftanalyst.com one of them.
“I had Kaaya as a fifth-round pick before the Combine, and I think he’s still a fifth-round pick – maybe even a sixth-round pick,” Pauline said. “He has a lot of questions to answer. He is a long way from being NFL-ready. He should have stayed in school one more year. He’s got some upside … he’s got some tools to work with, but it’s going to take a while.”
Courtesy of DraftBreakdown.com
Games watched - Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, North Carolina, West Virginia, Virginia, Nebraska (2015), Florida State (2015), Virginia Tech (2015), Washington St. (2015), Cincinnati (2015)
Kaaya’s tape shows a guy that runs really hot … and really cold. That’s perhaps the most frustrating part of this evaluation. He has the size, experience and arm talent that league evaluators look for. But he doesn’t put it all together often enough.
One aspect to like — Kaaya’s experience with play-action. HC Mark Richt oversaw an offense that, in addition to spread concepts, used a heavy dose of play-fakes. As a snap shot, 38% of Kaaya’s passes came off play-action in 2015 (3rd highest in the nation, per Pro Football Focus).
Here’s the good …
(Kaaya comes off his initial read to the right to quickly identify an open target on the left.)
The not-so good …
Kaaya doesn't have an overpowering arm, but he does show great touch in situations where it's necessary.
Here's a well-placed back-shoulder throw where the WR doesn't come through.
Kaaya lacks the athleticism of top QB prospects like Deshaun Watson and Mitchell Trubisky. The clip below shows his ability to escape a crumbling pocket, but it's not the smoothest of displays, and it wasn't a common sight. Fantasy-wise, it's unlikely Kaaya runs much in the NFL.
Even with 38 starts behind him, Kaaya’s considered a developmental prospect. Likely to come off the board from Round 3 to Round 5 in April, he’s just a flier in the later stages of dynasty drafts.
We’ll be intrigued, though, if he lands in a spot with an aging veteran passer. Somewhere like Pittsburgh, Los Angeles (Chargers) or Arizona could give Kaaya a starting opportunity within a few years. But for me, he’s a fringe top-5 QB in this class behind the likes of Trubisky, Watson, Pat Mahomes and DeShone Kizer.