Can Brad Kaaya Be a Franchise QB?

By Alexander C. Lawrence

NCAA Football Player Profile – Brad Kaaya, Quarterback

School: Miami (FL)
Height: 6’4

Brad Kaaya has been a three-year starter for a major football program which is something we don’t see too often. For that reason alone I like him because he has big-time college experience. We saw some great stuff in the second half of his freshman year. He had a ton of talent around him. That could likely mean he needs a good supporting cast around him, because his production went down in his second year as a starter (2015) when he didn’t have the pieces around him that had helped him succeed previously. That was part of the reason Miami HC Al Golden was fired. Kaaya did improve his junior year under new HC Mark Richt.

One thing that scares me is when under pressure he doesn’t focus well on his receivers, instead focusing too much on defenders. He doesn’t have good mobility and he’s clearly aware of that judging by the fact that he sometimes gives up on the down too early. He takes sacks rather than looking at receivers for an extra second or two. Over the last two seasons we’ve seen him protect the ball well which we saw was an issue for his first year when he was somewhat careless. To see that type of improvement is what coaches like. He showed he can improve from his past mistakes. He faced some good teams his junior year most notably FSU and Notre Dame. He didn’t really do anything special to make himself stand out which were the games scouts were looking for him to make an impact.

One thing you see is that yes, he’s a big guy but, he’s also deadly in the pocket when given time. He shows the potential to be a good pocket packer in the NFL since he can’t rely on his feet. He gets the ball out and places it perfectly into receiver’s hands. He’ll need to figure out how to get himself out of trouble and avoid taking huge sacks. I do think he has the skill-set to be drafted on day 2 of the NFL draft.


  • Good pocket passer
  • Good size
  • Good accuracy with a clean pocket
  • Three-year starter
  • Throws catchable passes
  • Makes throws into tight windows
  • Showed he can be a leader
  • Great work ethic to improve himself


  • Doesn’t have much mobility
  • Takes too many sacks
  • Can’t focus when under pressure
  • Doesn’t have a big arm

When you watch his performance in the Russell Athletic Bowl against #16 West Virginia you see how well he stood out and ended a 10-year drought at Miami in a 31-14 win. For most players I’d say the bowl doesn’t matter as much, but Kaaya showed his big time skill set when it mattered and brought his A-game. With time and patience from an NFL team he can be a solid back-up and even be groomed to be a star caliber play caller. He’s a smooth pocket passer. I don’t think he’ll be the face of a franchise, but with the right coaching staff he can work his way up to be being a leader of an NFL team.

Draft projection: 2nd round-3rd round

Comparison: Jared Goff

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