Sometimes, in sports we overlook the player and the circumstances that make the player. Sometimes, the physical make-up of a player overshadows the ability of the athlete. He is this big and can throw this far, so he must be a future super star; but we’ve come to learn that physical strength and natural talent doesn’t make a great player.
Jamarcus Russell comes to mind when thinking about a player who had all the physical gifts, but he wasn’t pro ready. The mental make-up of a player is what stands out after all the physical measurable are done.
Tom Brady, the four-time Super Bowl MVP, known by most, as the greatest player of all time in NFL history. Brady was that guy in the draft who had the mental capability to lead a team in the NFL, but he was over-looked by scouts because he wasn’t physically impressive. At the time, if you were walking down the street in 1999, you would have thought Brady was an average joe on the street.
Per the scouting report, pulled from IGN.com article, Brady had a poor build, very skinny and narrow. Brady ended his ’99 season at Michigan weighing only 195 pounds. The report continued to say Brady can get pushed down more easily than you’d like, and he lacked the mobility and ability to avoid the rush. He also lacked a strong arm, could not drive the ball down field, and doesn’t throw a really tight spiral.
Tom Brady was the average player who was always hungry to win, but he was overlooked. Now, 17 years later, the 2017 NFL Draft has a “Brady in the bunch”.
Brad Kaaya, Miami Hurricanes Quarterback and three-year starter, is the Brady in the bunch and let me explain why.
Granted Brad Kaaya did not have the late game heroics that Brady had in his college career at Michigan, but Kaaya came very close against Florida State a few times in his career. If the defense of Miami would have done their job, Brad Kaaya would have three late game comeback wins.
Brad Kaaya as a freshman in 2014, He looked like a sure-fire future 1st-round pick. But since, many scouts have said that Brad Kaaya hasn’t gotten any better, But I think differently. let’s review what the Miami Hurricane roster looked like in 2014.
The 2014 Miami Hurricane roster had seven players drafted in the 2015 NFL Draft, 5 from the offensive side. 2 went in the first round
- Ereck Flowers, the #9 overall pick to the New York Giants, not to mention he was also Miami’s best offensive tackle.
- Phillip Dorsett, 1st -round pick to the Indianapolis Colts and Miami’s deep threat.
- Duke Johnson, 3rd-round pick to the Cleveland Browns, the school’s all-time leading rusher.
- Clive Walford, 3rd-round pick to the Oakland Raiders, NFL starting tight end.
- Johnathan Feliciano, 4th-round pick to the Oakland Raiders, Offensive Guard.
Kaaya’s 2014 season stats: 3198 yards, 26 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, 58.5 completion percentage and quarterback rating of 145.9.
In the 2014 season, Brad Kaaya wasn’t perfect by any means. Brad over threw and under threw wide open receivers. He was inconsistent at times of distress, but most freshman are when they enter college. Brad Kaaya in his freshman year was accurate and poise in the pocket, these attributes ultimately put Kaaya at the top of his draft class.
So what changed?
Brad Kaaya, in his second season, got better. Kaaya was more accurate than he was in his first season ending the 2015 season with a completion percentage of 61.2. Kaaya threw less interceptions behind an offensive line that allowed him to be a punching bag, all while kaaya was learning a new playbook.
Unfortunately, Kaaya was knocked out in the game versus Clemson, and he sat out the following game against Duke due to concussion protocol.
Brad Kaaya 2015 stats: 3238 yards, 16 touchdowns, 5 interceptions, 61.2 completion percentage, and quarterback rating of 142.1. (Brad Kaaya was knocked out of one game and had to sit out the next week as well).
Let’s look at Tom Brady’s senior year on the field, Brady threw for 2217 yards, 16 touchdowns, 6 interceptions, 61.0 completion percentage, and 138.0 quarterback rating.
The reason why we compare Brady’s senior year to Kaaya’s sophomore year is because both players were playing in their second year on the field with at least 10 games played.
Kaaya’s began his 2016 season with a new head coach, new playbook, bad offensive line, and lacked depth at wide receiver. The crazy thing is Kaaya got better. His numbers went up even with unfavorable circumstances
Kaaya threw for 3532 yards to break, former Miami Hurricane quarterback great, Ken Dorsey career passing yards’ record. He finished his career with a 62.0 completion percentage and a 150 .3 passing rating. Kaaya is a winner when given the opportunity to lead his team to the finish.
Kaaya has some flaws that most quarterbacks have. He is not the most mobile quarterback, and he doesn’t have the biggest arm; but with the attribute Kaaya do have like accuracy, and understanding how to read defenses, Kaaya would be a complete stud in the NFL if given 1-year under a successful veteran Quarterback to start his career (Like Drew Bledsoe and Tom Brady) he could be deadly when he takes over.
|NFL teams looking for a Quarterback Successor|
|Los Angeles Chargers||Philip Rivers||14|
|New Orleans Saints||Drew Brees||17|
|Minnesota Vikings||Teddy Bridgewater*||4|
|New York Giants||Eli Manning||14|
|New England Patriots||Tom Brady||18|
|Green Bay Packers||Aaron Rodgers||13|
|* Player is seriously injured|