Many mock drafts prior to the 2016 season had Miami Quarterback Brad Kaaya as a top 15 pick. One preseason debate was centered around whether or not Kaaya was the best quarterback in the class. Things have changed, and now Kaaya has been largely forgotten. The former Hurricane is now being overshadowed by the likes of Mitch Trubisky and Deshaun Watson. Although the hype has quieted severely, Kaaya is still a prospect worth a look. As with any prospect, it is good to start with the basics and let me tell you, Kaaya is essentially the ideal quarterback prospect when looking at those variables. At 6’4, he has the height NFL teams looks for, and at 209 lbs., he is a little slimmer than you would probably like, but 209 isn’t that bad. Lastly, he’s a True Junior, meaning he is the youngest you can be (grade wise) when entering the draft. Safe to say Kaaya checks out well here. Now, let’s discuss what I found on tape when watching him, where he should be drafted come April, and what kind of potential he offers to dynasty fantasy football owners.
Mechanics, it is the most important thing when looking for a quarterback. Mechanics holds the keys to the potential of a quarterback so often. Throw power and accuracy often flow directly from mechanics. Look at Aaron Rodgers, he has the best mechanics I have ever seen, while not being super muscular, he can sling the rock, and put passes on absolute dimes while doing it. Sorry, went on a little bit of a tangent there. Back to Kaaya’s mechanics; Are they great? No. Are they sub par? No. They are simply fine; good enough where it should not limit him from becoming a great quarterback, but it won’t be the thing that makes him into a superstar either.
Kaaya’s footwork, like his mechanics, are nothing to write home about. It is not good enough or bad enough to make a big note of, the overarching idea I am trying to imply from these two skills is that Kaaya technically has potential to be great, since both his mechanics and footwork are fine, but he is more likely to be a run-of-the-mill quarterback in my opinion. But there is nothing wrong with that.
Throw power, man Kaaya can make every throw. Deep passes, outside comeback route, deep post between a linebacker and safety, Kaaya certainly can get it there with plenty of speed. Kaaya has decent accuracy, and his overall effectiveness as a thrower (accuracy and throw power) during his college career was higher than a lot of quarterbacks in the class; even more impressive when you remember that he was a true Junior this past season. You also gotta love the decision making from this young kid, when someone by their Junior year can already be a good decision maker, that points to a successful decision maker in the NFL as well.
There are two things that stick out like missed spots on a freshly mowed yard when watching Kaaya. One being his limited athleticism. Is this a huge deal, no, but it is something that may limit his true and fantasy potential. The thing that really concerns me about the former Hurricane’s game is his pocket presence. A couple things go into pocket presence. One obviously being a sense of awareness to pressure and the ability to navigate the pocket, and the other being an ability to step into throws even when pressure is coming right down the barrel. Kaaya scored the worst of any quarterback in pocket presence according to my rankings, this is something to keep an eye on. Thankfully, he is still young, and NFL coaching and experience should be able to help him out at least a little bit here.
Brad Kaaya is a quarterback that will impress you with some throws, his arm strength pretty much guarantees that. He makes good decisions, which is huge going into the NFL. But his lack of athleticism and pocket presence is a frightening combination. In the NFL draft, I have him as a high third rounder, as for dynasty rookie drafts, I have him ranked right around 6th or 7th for quarterbacks, so don’t go drafting him too high.