Height: 6-foot-4; Weight: 209 pounds; Age: 21; Class: Junior
Brad Kaaya has been the Miami Hurricanes’ starting quarterback since his freshman year. In 2014, he won the starting job in training camp as a true freshman and hasn’t looked back. Kaaya went on to win the ACC Freshman of the Year award, leading the conference in touchdown passes and passing efficiency.
This season he has led Miami to a 4-0 start, throwing for 935 yards, eight touchdowns and three interceptions. Kaaya is already on the top of the list for many scouts, but with a productive season he will receive more national attention. A huge positive is that Kaaya has already started 29 games for the Hurricanes with much of this season still to play. There is a lot of game tape on Kaaya and scouts will be able to dissect his progress from season to season.
Strengths: First off the biggest thing I liked about Kaaya was his experience. Too many quarterbacks enter the draft with just a handful of college starts and don’t have the game experience to make a successful transition to the NFL. Hall of Fame head coach Bill Parcells had four criteria requirements a college quarterback must meet in order to draft them. One of them being, “He must be a three-year starter, because you want to make sure his success wasn’t a fluke and to know that he has been “the guy” for a significant period of time.”
Kaaya checks this requirement off as he has been the unquestioned leader for the Hurricanes and has played at a high level. The junior quarterback runs a spread attack offense at Miami and operates with many quick decisions. Kaaya throws quickly and accurately and is best working from a quick three-step rhythm. He has above average arm talent, being able to make throws to all levels of the field.
Needs to Improve: When Kaaya is pressured, his smooth release and good accuracy goes by the way side. He struggles with his accuracy when being blitzed and doesn’t follow through on his throws. Kaaya also needs improve on his deep ball accuracy, as many throws get away from him. One of his biggest flaws was his footwork. However, under new head coach Mark Richt, his footwork has seen improvement.
Early Player Comparison: Teddy Bridgewater, Minnesota Vikings
Kaaya compares similarly to Bridgewater in the fact they have similar body frames. Like Bridgewater, Kaaya is tall and skinny and would benefit from gaining muscle and weight for a more physical NFL game. Kaaya, also excels when making quick decisions and doing the majority of his work from the pocket much like Bridgewater. They both have solid arms to make all the throws required but won’t “wow” you with their arm talent.
It has been reported that there are numerous NFL teams that have higher draft grades on Kaaya than Clemson’s Deshaun Watson. Teams believe he is more pro ready.
Film: This clip from last season 2015 against Virginia Tech showcases his strengths. Kaaya is best when he’s working in rhythm on a quick three-step drop. He has a quick delivery and is decisive throwing the ball. He makes a strong accurate throw into a tight spot where his receiver can make a play in the end zone.
We now continue our look at the other prospects the Browns should keep an eye on.