NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said Monday that he believes former University of Miami quarterback Brad Kaaya would be a good third-round pick as a “developmental prospect’’ in the upcoming NFL Draft – and that Hurricanes tight end David Njoku will “come into play somewhere in the second half of the first round.’’
The Hurricanes have nine players heading to the NFL Scouting Combine that runs from Tuesday through Monday in Indianapolis, and Kaaya and Njoku are the biggest names among them.
When asked by the Miami Herald to elaborate on Kaaya, Mayock seemed to like him a lot, but said he’d need time to improve his “pocket mechanics,’’ thus, the “developmental’’ project concept.
“As far as Kaaya is concerned,’’ Mayock said, “here are my thoughts on him: I think he’s a talented kid. He’s got the prototypical size. He makes three to five throws per game that are awesome.
“You sit back and go, ‘Yup, that’s it, that’s it, that’s NFL.’
“But then you watch the pocket mechanics break down and I think he starts to panic a little bit when he starts to see a flash of color from the other team.’’
At that point, Mayock said, Kaaya begins to “hurry his throws,’’ sometimes resulting in “poor locations.’’
The analyst said when Kaaya has “clear vision and clean feet,’’ he is a “really good’’ quarterback. “I think it’s going to take him a little bit of time.’’
Mayock also lauded Njoku, saying he’s “a freaky kid that looks like a wide receiver.’’
He noted that Njoku is “not a real good run-blocker yet, but the key is he gets after it…As long as you get after it and have a willingness to do it, you can be taught, so I’m bullish on Njoku.”
Mayock briefly touched on cornerback Corn Elder, safeties Rayshawn Jenkins and Jamal Carter, receiver Stacy Coley and guard Danny Isidora, indicating most of them have a good shot at playing in the NFL. He said Coley would “probably go in the fourth round, fifth round, somewhere in there,’’ and that Elder “beats people up’’ and Jenkins is “a bigger safety that brings some thump.’’
Isidora, Mayock said, is a “solid guard the third day’’ and that Carter is “another tough guy.’’
Mayock was even bullish on one former Hurricane who wasn’t invited to the combine: cornerback Adrian Colbert, who played one season with UM as a graduate transfer. Colbert, however, was not invited to the combine.
“There’s another Miami kid that I loved, another defensive back that’s just tougher than nails.’’ Mayock said of Colbert. “I think he’s going to be a special teams demon. I don’t know if he’s getting drafted, I just know he’ll be in camp and because of his height, weight and speed he’ll end up having an opportunity to try and make a team.”
The NFL Draft is April 27-29.