The Detroit Lions made many interesting picks in the 2017 NFL Draft. But will this sixth round gamble pay off to provide quality depth under center?
Following the results of the 2017 NFL Draft, one selection in particular puzzled me as a fan of the Detroit Lions. Coming from a family full of Miami Hurricane fans, I had heard a lot of praise about quarterback Brad Kaaya during his three-year tenure.
Standing 6-foot-4, with an even longer wingspan, and possessing the ability to run out of the pocket, Kaaya certainly seem to fit the mold of a solid NFL quarterback prospect.
Getting selected by the Lions in the sixth round came as a shock to many due to his wildly inconsistent play in college. But being the 215 overall selection isn’t necessarily a gamble pick. But Detroit selecting this raw quarterback prospect was likely seen as a experiment as they’ll try to develop Kaaya into a back-up for starter Matthew Stafford.
The Lions’ offensive system isn’t the easiest to learn, to say the least. Kaaya enters the NFL racking up 27 touchdowns to just seven interceptions during his final year playing for the Hurricanes. The 21-year old completed 60.6 percent of his passes during his three years at Miami.
Although somewhat inconsistent in college, Kaaya definitely has the experience under center. Molding those skills into a professional caliber signal-caller will be the key to finding success in Detroit.
"“It’s a difficult position to play,” Lions head coach Jim Caldwell told the team’s official website. “It’s not one where you come in and you’re going to be lights out. Not in our system because of the fact that we haven’t necessarily dumbed it down and it’s complex. There’s a lot of growth to it.”"
That quote speaks volumes and Kaaya is likely finding that out firsthand. The key for him will to be make progress everyday. Naturally, current Lions’ back-up quarterback Jake Rudock is more prepared than the rookie having already had a year under offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter’s scheme. But Kaaya can not let that discourage him. The young developmental prospect has a chance to have himself a solid career backing up one of the NFL’s finest quarterbacks.
The Detroit Lions are wanting to see if rookie Brad Kaaya can develop to a point where he can challenge Rudock for that backup quarterback position. Because let’s be honest here, nobody plans on Matthew Stafford giving up his spot anytime soon.