5. Brad Kaaya (Jr.) – Miami
Height: 6-4 Weight: 215
40-Yard Dash: n/a
9,968 passing yards, 69 TDs, 24 INTs, 60.6 comp. %
Player Comparison: Trevor Siemian
Projected Draft Round: 2-4
Kaaya moved up my board the more I watched him. Along with Pittsburgh’s Nathan Peterman, Kaaya is one of a select few who will have an easier transition from a mostly shotgun, no huddle offense in college to a more traditional NFL offense. Mechanically speaking, he’s sound. Sometimes, however, he relies on his arm too much on throws to the sideline. He doesn’t put his whole body into some throws, and that’s when you see under-throws. I see him aiming the football at times on throws over the middle of the field. He’s not going to wow people when he throws the ball. He’s not a gunslinger, but he’s steady and never seems to get too high or too low. He played early on in his collegiate career and has faced virtually every situation. I think he’ll go earlier than other people think because he’s a steady, calming presence, and he’s got great size and throws (when he’s in rhythm) with above average anticipation.
What They’re Saying:
“I think he’s a talented kid. He’s got the prototypical size. He makes three to five throws per game that are awesome. You sit back and go, ‘Yup, that’s it, that’s it, that’s NFL. But then you watch the pocket mechanics break down and I think he starts to panic a little bit when he starts to see a flash of color from the other team.”
– Mike Mayock
”Groomed to be a quarterback from an early age, Kaaya flashes the mechanics and intelligence of a player who has spent hours in quarterback camps. However, he can be too mechanical and thinks too much rather than just flowing and responding to what the field offers him. Kaaya could have used another year of college, but he has the tools and intangibles to become an NFL starter. While he can work around his average arm strength, he must improve his accuracy and anticipation if he is to make a mark in the NFL.”
– Lance Zierlein (NFL.com)
“Continuing to develop into a top-tier passer, Kaaya decided to turn pro a year early receiving enough good news from the NFL Advisory Committee to make the jump as a junior. Kaaya has been coached to be a star at the position since he was eight years old as he oozes with instincts. His mechanics are NFL ready but his accuracy is of concern. Though he doesn’t make a basketful of errant throws, there are enough in his history to grade it as a weakness.”
– Christian Page (Optimum Scouting)
Kaaya is an interesting name for the Bills on day two. He’s certainly not the most prolific passer in the draft, but he may be the most steady. I do worry about his accuracy in the middle of the field and deep outside the numbers, but I think Kaaya posseses the things you want in guy to eventually lead your franchise. He’s not ready to play in the NFL next season, which is why Buffalo could make some sense for him. He has at least a year to sit and watch. He can run Rick Dennison’s offense, and there’s certainly, in my opinion, room on the roster to add another young quarterback. I do worry about Kaaya’s overall arm strength when the weather gets cold in Buffalo, though. He played his college ball in South Beach; there’s a big difference between Christmas games in sunny South Florida and Christmas in Western New York. I’m still really high on DeShone Kizer for the Bills early on day two, but if they don’t take Kizer, then Kaaya could be a potential fit.
I’m not going to lie; this play really excites me. It’s what I truly believe the Bills need to do to add to their offense in 2017 if they’re going to take the next step. Where the game has gone today you absolutely need to execute the back shoulder throw consistently. It was one of the many shortcomings of the Bills’ pass game last season and one of the many factors that doomed them defensively, as well. Kaaya’s arm strength and anticipation in this respect are tremendous. His receiver is well covered, but Kaaya places it where only his receiver can make a play. I’m comfortable saying that when healthy, Sammy Watkins can make that sort of play regularly.
Here’s an example of Kaaya staring down his receiver. This Notre Dame defense he was playing against was not good, and this is the sort of stuff he can expect to see at the next level. He simply doesn’t have the arm strength to out-throw the defender on this play. This ball has to be thrown as his receiver makes the break or it can’t be thrown at all. It certainly can’t be thrown behind him; it’s an easy play for the defender.