<
>

Bill Belichick, Kevin Colbert among those at Miami Hurricanes' pro day

MIAMI -- It is pro day season in the NFL, where scouts, coaches and general managers travel across the country to see the best college talent entering the draft.

On Wednesday, draft-eligible players from the Miami Hurricanes, including top prospects in quarterback Brad Kaaya and tight end David Njoku, performed in front of NFL onlookers.

Here were some notes and observations from Miami’s pro day:

  • Usually Hurricanes’ pro day brings a bevy of star-studded coaches and general managers. However, this year was different because of poor timing. Most coaches and general managers were in Phoenix or traveling from Phoenix on Wednesday for the NFL owners meetings. Even key members of the Miami Dolphins such as vice president Mike Tannenbaum and coach Adam Gase didn’t make it back. The two biggest names who made it to South Florida were New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick and Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert. Pittsburgh's situation is particularly interesting because the team is in search of a quarterback with the uncertain future of starter Ben Roethlisberger. Kaaya could be a target in the second or third round worth developing in Pittsburgh's system. According to the University of Miami, all 32 teams were represented.

  • Speaking of Kaaya, he threw well to a familiar group of receivers. Kaaya connected on a couple of deep balls and made the routine throws. It is worth noting that Kaaya did not run the 40-yard dash or perform cone drills. Kaaya also did not run at the NFL combine. Straight-line speed isn't Kaaya's strength, and it is possible that he’s waiting to run during individual workouts. Kaaya did not speak with the media on Wednesday, but here is what Hurricanes coach Mark Richt had to say: "[He’s] a guy that really understands football. He’s a deadly accurate passer, a guy that I think they will have full faith and confidence. [He] will be able to function in their system, and a guy with leadership and charisma."

  • The most impressive prospect here, as expected, was tight end Njoku. He is built like a truck, caught the ball well and moves well for a player his size. Njoku also didn’t speak with the media after workouts. Many scouts have him pegged as a first-round pick.

  • Hurricanes receiver Stacy Coley said he was happier with his Pro Day performance than what he did at the combine. Coley showed good hands catching passes from Kaaya. He put up good numbers last season (63 receptions, 754 yards, nine touchdowns), but his NFL reviews are mixed. Some believe he’s better as a slot receiver at the next level, and he’s pegged as a late-round pick. But Coley said he hasn’t paid attention to outside opinions this offseason.

  • Former Miami Dolphins running back and current Houston Texan Lamar Miller was in attendance to support his alma mater. Miller rushed for 1,918 career yards at the University of Miami and was a fourth-round pick in 2012. He rushed for 1,073 yards and five touchdowns for the Texans last season.