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Lions Player Profile: Meet QB Brad Kaaya

Dec 28, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Miami Hurricanes quarterback Brad Kaaya (15) celebrates defeating the West Virginia Mountaineers 31-14 and being names MVP pf the game at Camping World Stadium. The Miami Hurricanes defeat the West Virginia Mountaineers 31-14. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

With the 215th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions selected quarterback Brad Kaaya out of the University of Miami.

Brad Kaaya at Jon Gruden’s annual Quarterback camp

Bob Quinn has now turned up the heat on last year’s sixth-round pick and former University of Michigan quarterback Jake Rudock by selecting the accomplished Hurricanes quarterback. Kaaya became the starter as a true freshman and started all 38 games in his three years. In three seasons as QB 1 for “The U,” Kaaya racked up 9,968 passing yards (School Record), with a 61% completion percentage, 69 touchdown passes (3rd most in School History) and 24 interceptions.

The 6’4, 214 pound QB entered the 2017 NFL Draft as the 8th best quarterback and 116th overall prospect according to ESPN.com. Kevin Weidl see’s potential in Kaaya but also a few things he could work on.

 A three year starter within a pro-style system, Kaaya shows fast eyes working through progressions and is extremely accurate when throwing from a clean pocket. His lack of ideal mobility is a concern, and he needs to show he can be more consistent under pressure. — Kevin Weidl

Here is Brad Kaaya’s analysis from NFL.com:

STRENGTHS

Three-year starter and pro-style pocket passer. Experienced and comfortable under center and in play-action offense. Has shown an ability to read the entire field when asked. Gets through progressions fairly quickly. Expedites release and throws to an area in front of the route when blitz is closing in. Always looking to throw past sticks on third down. Understands his arm limitations and rarely takes unnecessary chances throwing into space. Rhythm passer comfortable working in timing-based passing attack. Schooled on mechanics of the position since he was eight years old. Uses well-timed climbs and slides to maneuver away from pressure. Footwork is consistent and well-rehearsed. Ball stays tucked under his ear until he cuts it loose with relatively quick wrist flick. Throws on balance with easy delivery. Delivers feathery soft deep ball with good trajectory and ability to drop the nose of the ball into a bucket. Gets ball out early on field-side throws to mitigate lack of velocity.

WEAKNESSES

Accuracy and ball placement can be sketchy. Will rush throws and “work early” rather than throw with velocity into tight windows. Front side opens early, causing passes to sail. Consistently poor accuracy on intermediate work. Completed just 38 percent of his passes between 11-20 yards in 2016. Underthrows deep balls and fails to consistently hit crossers and slants in stride. Arm strength lags behind NFL norm. Throws hang in air or nose-dive prematurely when throwing field side. Rigid, mechanical approach as passer. Lacks arm talent and improvisational skills to create magic with off-balance throws on the move. Fails to see and exploit anticipatory throws between linebackers and safeties. Lacks mobility outside the pocket and will give into the pressure — at times taking the sack rather than getting rid of the ball.

Brad Kaaya will go into training camp competing with Jake Rudock for the backup position. Time will tell what he can be but for now, Kaaya is just looking forward down the field  to learning from Matthew Stafford.

Welcome to the Motor City Brad.

https://twitter.com/kaaya323/status/858434908762423296

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