Miami Hurricanes quarterback Brad Kaaya and tight end David Njoku let their play do the talking during the program's pro day on Wednesday.
Kaaya put together a solid, scripted throwing session. He completed 51-of-57 passes, throwing the ball accurately and efficiently in front of scouts from all 32 teams. An NFC scout told First Coast News that Kaaya performed well in Coral Gables following a solid NFL Combine performance in Indianapolis.
Three of Kaaya's incompletions came on drops from tight ends. Njoku dropped the first pass thrown his way and Standish Dobard dropped a pair of perfectly thrown balls during the session.
Kaaya looked completely in control in front of a large NFL audience. Miami head coach Mark Richt praised the quarterback during the event.
"A guy that really understands football, a guy that is a deadly accurate passer," Richt said of Kaaya. "[He is] a guy that I think [an NFL team] will have full faith and confidence that he will be able to function in their system. [He is] a guy with leadership and charisma."
Njoku ran an unofficial 4.62-second 40-yard dash and complimented that with a pair of two very impressive jumps: a 40-inch vertical and a 10'11" broad.
He looked athletic while running routes, but didn't seem completely engaged in the overall workout, said the same scout referenced earlier. His dropped pass during the throwing session was off a perfect throw from Kaaya.
Still, he held his own during blocking drills and multiple scouts in attendance praised his work on film. Njoku left the pro day before speaking to the media, but Richt did offer up some insight into his former tight end.
"A guy that has all kinds of ability and still isn't even full-grown yet," Richt said of Njoku. "I think he has even more of an upside to him. He's only played tight end for two seasons in his whole life, so he's going to be a special player."
Njoku and Kaaya both play positions the Jaguars could seemingly target early in the draft.
While Kaaya would definitely need a year or two to develop, he could be an ideal challenger/backup for quarterback Blake Bortles.
After dealing tight end Julius Thomas to Miami, Njoku could be a trade down target in the first round of the draft.
Corn impresses during "job interview"
Miami cornerback Corn Elder was among the most impressive players at the workout. He ran 4.44 and 4.43-second 40-yard dashes, and showed tremendous ball skills in defensive back drills.
"I feel pretty good," Elder said. "I felt better on my 40, I got to do position drills this time, I finally feel healthy. I felt pretty good about today.
Elder met with the Jaguars during a formal meeting at the NFL Combine. He told First Coast News that he is very close with Jacksonville cornerback Jalen Ramsey.
We reached out to Ramsey, who didn't seem the least bit surprised by Elder's success.
"I knew he would [do well]," Ramsey said. "He is easily the most competitive person I've played with and against in my life."
While the Jaguars currently have Ramsey, A.J. Bouye and Aaron Colvin as the top three cornerbacks on the roster, Elder could fit into their long-term plans.
Colvin is set to become a free agent next offseason and Elder can play as a boundary cornerback and nickel corner in the NFL.
More News and Notes
- Miami wide receiver Stacy Coley had a solid afternoon. I had him clocked at a 4.46 40-yard dash. During his field drills, Coley caught everything thrown his way. He contorted his body regularly, making athletic grabs in the air.
- Coley's teammate and fellow wide receiver Malcolm Lewis was also lights out. He was thrown to on several "go routes" (sprint towards end zone) and he made clean catches every time.
- Detroit Lions defensive line coach Kris Kocurek was a highlight of the pro day. His energy and vocal motivation got the most out of Miami's defensive linemen. Defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad benefited the most from Kocurek's approach.
Lions DL coach Kris Kocurek is putting on quite the display. He's the standout here. pic.twitter.com/KFdyHO0fgr— Mike Kaye (@mike_e_kaye) March 29, 2017
"It was definitely high-intensity," Mohammad said. "I had an idea it was going to be like that but I enjoyed it, I enjoyed it. It was awesome."
- Speaking of Muhammad, he was closely scouted by New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick during drills. Belichick was the only NFL head coach in attendance.
Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.