Three high-profile former Miami Hurricanes performed at the NFL Scouting Combine on Saturday, two of whom left UM early and most Canes fans no doubt wish were still on the Miami roster.
Quarterback Brad Kaaya and David Njoku, who left as underclassmen, performed at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis – as well as receiver Stacy Coley, who returned in 2016 for his senior season.
Kaaya chose not to run the 40 among other various workouts he skipped, but was on the field showing off his throwing skills.
“His throws right here are pretty nice,’’ said NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock, who has repeatedly said Kaaya is exceptionally good with a “clear pocket.’’
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“Clean feet, clear vision, it’s always pretty with him,’’ Mayock said as Kaaya was shown live on television during passing drills.
Added former NFL quarterback and NFL Network analyst David Carr: “There’s no one around him here and he looks the part.’’
And this from fellow analyst Daniel Jeremiah on Twitter, when asked about Kaaya: “He had a really good workout.’’
However, the NFL Network’s Bucky Brooks listed Kaaya as one of the “losers’’ of the combine Saturday because he “didn’t have his fastball working during the positional workout on the turf’’ and “missed on a handful of throws at intermediate and deep range that highlighted some concerns about his arm strength and accuracy.
“In addition, he failed to address concerns about his athleticism when he elected to sit out the 40.’’
Mayock, in a press conference Saturday, again reiterated that “two guys I would want to develop, third or fourth round, guys to me that I think have potential, quote, ‘starter characteristics,’ will be Kaaya and Tennessee kid [Josh] Dobbs. Both of them are highly inconsistent in the pocket but they’ve got the size and arm strength.’’
Njoku, anticipated as a first rounder along with Alabama’s O.J. Howard, had a good day, although not a record-breaking one like he predicted.
Several projections have Njoku, from Cedar Grove, N.J., going No. 23 overall in the draft to his childhood-favorite New York Giants.
Njoku ran the 40-yard dash in 4.64 seconds, the seventh fastest time for a tight end.
In the broad jump, Njoku finished second with his 11’1’’ jump, behind Virginia Tech’s Bucky Hodges (11’2’’).
Njoku did 21 bench-press reps (225 pounds), seventh best among tight ends.
Njoku’s vertical leap was 37.5 inches, tied for third among tight ends.
As for wide receivers, UM’s Coley ran the 40 in 4.45 seconds, had a 34-inch vertical leap, 10’1’’ broad jump and did 10 bench-press reps.