Perhaps the most underrated quarterback in this year’s class, Brad Kaaya has the skill set to be a successful NFL signal caller. Starting as a true freshman at Miami, Kaaya amassed 9,968 yards passing with a completion percentage of 60.6% and 69 touchdowns over his three year career. Kaaya also led Miami to a record of 24-18 over those three years including a blowout win in the Russell Athletic Bowl over West Virginia this past season.
Kaaya may not be the biggest name among this relatively weak quarterback class and probably doesn’t deserve the first round hype like other top guys such as Deshaun Watson or Mitch Trubisky, but Kaaya does possess the physical tools and smarts to succeed at the next level. Regardless, Kaaya could/should be very enticing to teams with aging quarterbacks in the second to third round.
Name: Brad Kaaya
Comparison: Matt Ryan
Draft Grade: Late Second Round
Strengths: Has the ability to make any throw when given time. Shows the ability to read the entire field and go through progressions like a pro quarterback. Excels at hitting short and intermediate throws. Has the arm strength to hit tight windows in traffic. Possesses a good enough deep ball to make opposing defenses respect his ability there. Rhythm passer, when he is in rhythm and has time he can make any throw on the field with ease. Mechanics and footwork are among the best in the class, high release point along with his height are definitely an advantage. Has shown the ability to make anticipation throws. Accuracy and touch alone help Kaaya stand out in this class. Has experience from the pocket and under center. Smart, competitive player who has shown the willingness to learn multiple systems at Miami.
Weaknesses: Kaaya’s mechanics and accuracy tend to fall apart too easily under pressure. Feet become very erratic and release becomes more sidearm when the defense is in his face. Inconsistent deep ball, often misses wide open targets down the field. Struggles with his accuracy when targeting his 2nd or 3rd option, often rushing the throw leading to incompletions. Limited mobility will hurt him in the NFL. Decision making also a problem when he’s not in a rhythm, often forcing the ball to double or even triple coverage at times. Very poor improvisation skills, if everything isn’t set up well for him, he lacks the mobility and willingness to create a play.
Outlook: Kaaya is a very interesting prospect in this draft class. He has all the skills that teams look for in a franchise quarterback but his one major flaw is his ineptitude while under pressure. Often times, Kaaya will look like two different players throughout the course of a game. That being said though, he does give teams something to work with and develop. His accuracy, touch, and mechanics are some of the best in the class and his quick decision making skills should be appealing to west coast offenses. If Kaaya can sit behind an established veteran and learn to fix his decision making and improve his lack of poise under pressure, he very well could be the best QB in this class down the road. Expect teams like the Giants, Saints, and Chargers to target Kaaya and look to develop him behind their (potential) Hall of Fame quarterbacks.