NFL draft weekend will tell if Brad Kaaya left UM too soon

What a shame it would be if Brad Kaaya doesn’t go high in the NFL draft after skipping what would have been his senior season at Miami.

Sure, it would be tough on Brad, the Hurricanes’ all-time leader in passing yards and completions, but consider the continued indecision about his replacement in Coral Gables.

Mark Richt can’t name a starter coming out of the spring practice sessions and both Malik Rosier and Evan Shirreffs have been around long enough to show what they can do. Meanhwhile, top recruit N’Kosi Perry, a beanpole at 6-feet-4 and 178 pounds, doesn’t arrive on campus until next month.

MIAMI GARDENS – Miami Hurricanes head coach Mark Richt with former Hurricanes quarterback Brad Kaaya (15) and wide receiver Stacy Coley (3) at Hard Rock Stadium on September 1, 2016. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

Kaaya may not have had the kind of blockbuster junior season that would have catapulted him into obvious first-round draft territory but he did throw 27 touchdown passes with just seven interceptions. That’s high efficiency, and it figures that he and Richt would have gotten more comfortable with each other if given another season to work together.

As it was, Kaaya got sacked way too much (25 times) which was partly the fault of Miami’s offensive line and partly his own. His footwork and his decision-making need to speed up before some NFL team is going to go crazy over him.

Depending on what you read in the pre-draft speculation chatter, Kaaya could slip all the way to the third-day developmental class, or some team might want to take him as high as the second or third round to school behind a certain starter.

Never that easy figuring out who should go and should stay. NFL scouts aren’t as adamant as they used to be about looking for quarterbacks from a pro-style offense, which diminishes any supposed bonus points that Kaaya might have earned at Miami. Also, there’s a drive to start first-round quarterbacks right away as NFL rookies, another relatively new trend, and Kaaya isn’t ready for that.

Overall, would staying with the Hurricanes for his senior season have gained Miami a few more victories in 2017 and pushed Kaaya significantly higher in next year’s NFL draft?

I’ll say yes to the first question and no to the second.

[Check this list if you think Dolphins have gone too long between titles]

[Russell Westbrook is a true stats machine, but nobody did it like Big O]

[Reliving Wilt’s 100-point night, with two Palm Beach County eyewitnesses]

 

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