2014: 221/378 3198 YDS 26 TD 12 INT
2015: 238/389 3238 YDS 16 TD 5 INT
2016: 261/421 3532 YDS 27 TD 7 INT
Career: 720/1188 9968 YDS 69 TD 24 INT
Kaaya came to Miami as a prized recruit who was going to lead The U back to national prominence. The rise for the Hurricanes hasn’t been what fans have hoped for but the 2016 season looked better as Mark Richt took over and Kaaya showed promise under his tutelage in year one.
Kaaya’s production while at Miami has been steady each season, even with a less than stellar supporting cast in his first two seasons.
Kayaa stands 6’3” but has a very narrow frame and played at 210 pounds this past season. He isn’t a quarterback known to run the ball, and will hang in the pocket but at the next level the question will be if his body can handle a 16 game schedule’s worth of hits.
Arm Strength (5.5):
Kaaya arm strength is adequate on intermediate throws but loses velocity when he needs to drive the ball into the holes versus a cover two, or deep down the middle of the field. These passes in the NFL will often be intercepted or broken up.
Kaaya’s accuracy is at its best when the ball can come out quickly. When he has to go to his second receiver from pre-read his accuracy struggles. Kaaya has difficulty with throwing the ball deep which is partially due to lack of arm strength. Many of Kaaya’s deep balls are thrown in rhythm and timing, not second options.
Kaaya excels with being able to adjust the velocity on the ball to the areas he can reach. He throws a very catchable ball with tight spin and gives his receivers that ability to make plays. He displays an understanding of what type of throw is needed based on the situation.
Set Up/Delivery/Release (8):
Kaaya is a player that a young quarterback can model his game after when it comes to what he looks like throwing the ball. He stands upright, strides towards the target, and has a tight and quick release. His mechanics are as sound as anyone in this year’s class. Kaaya’s short arm motion, quick release, and drive from his backside to front side makes up for his lack of arm strength.
Kaaya won’t be mistaken for a quarterback that will drive the fear into the defense with his legs. He does well being moved out of the pocket on play actions or when pushed but won’t be a threat to be a part of an offensive plan.
Pocket Presence/Poise/Decision Making/Football IQ (7):
This is where Kaaya excels. He shows a great understanding of what the defense is showing before the snap and is able to take advantage more times than not. Kaaya is an old fashioned pocket passer who is well-drilled in moving around the pocket. He is able to make subtle slides and movements inside the pocket to extend the play looking for receivers. He has shown progress each year at Miami in his TD to INT ratio. He has a very calm demeanor and doesn’t panic in the pocket which rubbed off on a very young Miami team this year.
Kaaya is a player that has adapted well to make up for his short comings. He doesn’t possess an arm that will “wow” scouts or teams but his high IQ makes up for it. Kaaya pre-snap reminds me of watching Bridgewater at Louisville. The strong grasp of what the defense is trying to do and seeing it makes it harder to defend. He has shown great leadership with the Hurricanes during his career as he came in during a difficult period in program history and as the face of the program. He responded by improving each year not only statistically but by record as well. He was surrounded by a young roster this year and displayed the leadership qualities that you want to see in a quarterback.
Kaaya, as mentioned earlier, has a thin frame, and will need to add bulk to it in order to survive a 16 game season. Kaaya has not endured any major injuries at Miami despite his size. He had a concussion last year and a banged up shoulder this year but nothing outside of that. Kaaya is an average athlete at best with very little mobility outside the pocket which means he will need to play from a clean pocket to excel.
Expect to hear Kaaya’s name called in the same range as Cody Kessler last year. With his high football IQ, he will be able to provide great insight in the quarterback’s room while improving his arm strength and adding weight for a couple years.