Saturday morning marked a big day for UM alums attempting to raise or cement their stock taking part in on-field drills at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. A trio of ‘Canes looked to continue the positive momentum from Friday’s workouts.
WR Stacy Coley
Stacy Coley did pretty much what was expected of him during his time on the field. Known more for his speed than strength, Coley showcased his soft hands during receiving drills, while leaving the combine with decent marks in each event.
Bench Press: 10 reps
40-yard Dash: 4.45(official)
Vertical Jump: 34 inches
Broad Jump: 122 inches (10.1 feet)
No dropped passes from Stacy Coley in the gauntlet. Off to a real good start pic.twitter.com/bzRtQFc2wV— CaneCutUps (@canecutups) March 4, 2017
Another 4.47u in the 40!— NFL (@NFL) March 4, 2017
This one from @CanesFootball WR Stacy Coley! #NFLCombine https://t.co/O17bD0Vy2Z
A nagging thread that came up during Coley’s time on the field was his decision to decline an invite to the Senior Bowl, an event that he was expected to dominant had he attended.
QB Brad Kaaya
March 4, 2017
In the preview leading up to his workout on Saturday it seemed that plenty had jumped off the Brad Kaaya bandwagon. After his workout, the load capacity will be tested with numerous people ready to pile back on.
The Hurricanes all-time leading passer was dealing throughout various passing drills during the morning session. Whether it was looking good in 5-step drops or hitting the right spot on deep corner routes, Kaaya was red-hot.
"Not a surprise to me, Brad Kaaya looks the most polished" - Mike Mayock.— StateOfTheU.com (@TheStateOfTheU) March 4, 2017
NFL Network draft guru, Mike Mayock and guest analyst, former NFL QB David Carr, had high praise for his ball placement. Given that Brad’s performance came while he was in the same group as Mayock’s highest-rated QB, Notre Dame QB DeShone Kizer, it was elating to hear praise for the ‘Canes QB.
Among the attributes that drew praise were Kaaya’s clean feet, level shoulders, and high accuracy throughout the session. Does it get any better than hearing an analyst describe Brad poise throughout the day as “natural”.
NFL Network’s analyst Daniel Jeremiah called Kaaya “The smoothest by far” during his session.
Good call. He had a really good workout too. https://t.co/HFj9YwF2w4— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) March 4, 2017
FOX (and Madden) commentator Charles Davis agrees that his arm and feet “marry up well” during passing drills.
Both Jeremiah and Davis agreed that Kaaya did the most of any QB during the entire day to help himself.
Kaaya worked hard on his mechanics last few months at EXOS. Seeing the results of that early on today— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) March 4, 2017
Although Kaaya did not participate in the typical on-field drills, opting to skip the 40, bench press, vertical and broad jump, the focus was squarely on his passing acumen than his athletic ability.
The only critique of Kaaya on the day came from his film and how his composure tends to break down when there is pressure around him. Mayock was critical of his pocket presence when the area is not clean. Even with the outstanding day, Mayock calls Kaaya an interesting “developmental prospect”, that along with Tennessee QB Josh Dobbs “still needs pocket work”.
That said, Brad has the right kind of buzz after the combine.
No ‘Cane entered the combine with more hype than TE David Njoku. Essentially labelled as a ‘can’t miss’ prospect, expectations heading into the weekend were that Njoku was going to break records at the combine.
Bench Press: 21 reps
40-Yard Dash: 4.64 official
Vertical Jump: 37.5 inches (Tied for 3rd among TEs)
Broad Jump: 133.0 inches (11.08 ft) (2nd among TEs)
#Miami TE David Njoku with a 4.64u on his 2nd 40 attempt. #NFLCombine pic.twitter.com/I0zxu5Dvjo— Steve Frederick (@SportsGuyTweets) March 4, 2017
Njoku didn’t run a 4.4, Njoku’s forty time is not that bad given how he showed off his athleticism both on film and in other drills over the course of the weekend. He improved from his first unofficial attempt at the forty of 4.70, which is around the benchmark for tight ends. This is to day that he still remains one of the headliners in a highly-touted tight end class.
David Njoku looks like he's been carved out of stone.— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) March 4, 2017
While he did have a couple drops in a drill, he was able to illustrate just how good he could potentially be in the NFL. The word potential is used because at 6’4 246 lbs. is just a 20-year-old redshirt junior that still has room to improve his game.
2nd run through the gauntlet for David Njoku pic.twitter.com/VJkDO47DEQ— Peter Ariz (@PeterAriz) March 4, 2017
Next Man Up
Sunday will be the first day that defensive players take the field. The lone UM alum front-seven participant will be a player that has not taken a meaningful snap since the 2015 Sun Bowl against Washington State, DL Al-Quadin Muhammad. There is little doubt that AQM will place highly during testing. It’s a bit murky as to how he will perform during drills. As well as where a team sees AQM lining up at the next level.
Sun Sentinel reporter Omar Kelly had an interesting piece on AQM’s quest to become a pro that you should check out.
"Hold up, hold up. One thing. One thing.. Go Hurricanes!"— NFL (@NFL) March 4, 2017