When Ben Roethlisberger told the local Pittsburgh radio station he was essentially considering retirement, it sent shockwaves throughout fan base, and the Pittsburgh Steelers front office. When the team thought they had 3-5 more years left with Big Ben, suddenly they had to accelerate their plans at the quarterback position, and they interviewed several quarterbacks at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis last week.
One of those quarterbacks to be interviewed was Miami’s Brad Kaaya. Kaaya is not expected to be a high draft pick, especially with a weak quarterback class in the upcoming 2017 NFL Draft, but would the Steelers be willing to take a flyer on Kaaya in the mid-to-late rounds to be a potential quarterback for the future?
We take a look at Kaaya’s draft profile, and if he would possible fit the Steelers scheme, courtesy of BTSC draftnik Nicholas Martin.
Weight: 214 LBS
Arm length: 32
Hands: 9 3/4"
Miami’s career leader passer in passing yards with 9,968 yards, also had 69 passing touchdowns and just 24 interceptions throughout his 3 year career. Was named to ACC’s all academic team in both 2015 and 2016, along with being named third team All ACC in 2015.
Has solid footwork in the pocket and steps up in the pocket while under duress. Possess a slightly above average arm and can put plenty of zip on the ball. Can throw to the far side of the field with plenty of velocity. Ball placement is generally in the spot where only his receiver can get it. Puts good touch on fade routes. Throws with great timing and rhythm on out breaking routes and 3-5 step drops. Keeps his shoulders level. Goes through his progressions on a down to down basis. Showed good eye manipulation, when it came to moving safeties. Sells play action better than a lot QBs and will actually bring defenders up, allowing the passing lanes to open up. Flashed some ability to make throws off platform in 2016. Showed great improvement from 2015 to 2016, not getting as happy feet in the pocket as he did in 2015. Played in a pro style offense under Mark Richt. Reads the entire field and will normally go to his checkdown when everyone else is covered, or throw it away.
Very thin frame that could create injury concerns at the next level, needs to bulk up (not his arms). Does not possess the type of mobility to be able to improvise on a consistent basis. Arm could limit him to a west coast offense. Throwing motion is slower than I would like, due to him bringing it down before he brings it up. Throwing motion caused the ball to come out as he got hit while under pressure and could lead to more INTs in the NFL if it is not addressed. Sometimes will not bring his hips into a throw and it causes the ball to sail on him. Deep ball accuracy was the most inconsistent, often looking like he put too much power than touch on it. Could improve anticipation throws off play action. Will take the sack if he’s about to get wrapped up. In 2015 he would get jittery in the pocket and his accuracy really suffered when under pressure.
NFL Comparison: Sam Bradford