Wrapping up the five top quarterbacks in the 2017 NFL Draft is Brad Kaaya from the University of Miami.
Of the top quarterbacks in this class, the Chicago Bears showed arguably the most in-season interest in Kaaya, even if he's considered the least desirable of the top names.
Through the range of these five quarterbacks -- along with others such as Davis Webb and Nate Peterman -- Bears GM Ryan Pace will have options in each of the first three rounds of the draft, depending on his approach.
Let’s take a deeper dive into our fifth-ranked quarterback prospect.
QB Brad Kaaya, Miami (6-4, 214)
A native of West Hills, California, Kaaya is the highest rated pro-style quarterback in the 2017 draft.
Heading into the 2016 season, Kaaya was considered one of the top prospects at his position, along with Clemson's Deshuan Watson, but Kaaya has slowly dropped down the rankings.
Kaaya is a three-year starter that comes from a pro-style system. He has ideal height but a slender frame. He’s arguably the most traditional pocket passer this draft has to offer, along with Peterman.
Kaaya won’t wow you much but as an NFL prospect, he offers teams a low development curve, although most believe his upside is limited.
- Experience: Kaaya is a three-year starter who threw a total of 1,188 passes during his time at Miami.
- Height & Length: At 6-4 with long limbs, he carries NFL-level measurables.
- Field Vision: Kaaya is a well-known downfield thrower with good vision. He has the ability to go through his progressions and view the entire field, a trait few prospects in this class possess.
- Durability & Toughness: The 21-year-old missed just one game in three years and has shown the ability to avoid unnecessary hits. Durability is a quality often overlooked during the draft process.
- Experience in a Pro-Style Offense: Outside of Kizer and Peterman, Kaaya is one of few signal callers in this class that has experience in a pro-style offense, including taking snaps under center in 2016.
- Decent Arm: While he’ll never wow anyone with his arm, Kaaya has the ability to make every throw necessary to be a successful NFL quarterback.
- Eyes and Pump-Fake Ability: He is proficient at looking defensive backs off, while his productive pump fakes are something NFL teams will value.
- Ball Placement: On film, Kaaya's consistent ball placement and ability to fit throws into tight windows stood out.
- Slender Frame: While his height and overall length is good, he lacks bulk on his frame. This is something that could lead to durability issues at the next level.
- Lack of Elite Traits: Kaaya doesn't struggle in any given area but there’s nothing within his college game, in terms of physical traits, that inspires much optimism for a high ceiling. His perceived lack of potential is one of his biggest slights.
- Internal Clock: Durability hasn’t been an issue for Kaaya but he lacks a fast internal clock that could lead to unnecessary hits. Couple this with a slower release and it could cause issues.
- Pocket Presence: On film, Kaaya showed a timid presence in the pocket, which often led to slow decision-making. He doesn't scramble much, so his slow-moving internal clock could result in unnecessary sacks. In addition, confidence seems to be an issue, which is not a good trait for a quarterback.
- Footwork: Footwork is poor throughout this year's class of QBs but with Kaaya, he seems to have his feet stuck in cement far too often. With just an adequate arm, improving his footwork will be key for him at the next level.
Kaaya’s college game and system should limit the depth of his NFL floor but there are legitimate concerns about his potential, and whether or not he can play at a starter level in the NFL.
He lacks elite traits and, while development and polish is always needed for any prospect, can any NFL coaching staff raise his play to a starter-sufficient level?
That said, Kaaya carries a lot of traits desirable to NFL teams. Three years of experience is a valuable attribute to have, especially at the quarterback position, but most feel he would have benefited from another year in college, even with a projected deep quarterback class in 2018.
Overall, Kaaya’s floor is comfortable but how much better can he be in the NFL? The Bears need more than a league average quarterback or game manager, which makes it unlikely Pace will pursue Kaaya.
Currently, projections for Kaaya range anywhere from the second round, all the way into the fifth round. My personal evaluation: I have him as a bottom-second-round, early third-round talent. With this in mind, players like Christian Hackenberg and Geno Smith both went in the second round recently, so anything is possible on draft day when teams tend to panic and over-draft quarterbacks.
Pro Comparison: Teddy Bridgewater (Minnesota Vikings)