The 2016 NFL season isn’t over. The 2016 college football season isn’t over. Some teams are already thinking ahead. The Chicago Bears have to, if just in order to get away from their miserable existence. ONe thing they’re thinking about is quarterbacks, and specifically Brad Kaaya of Miami.

The Bears are doing extensive research on the third year quarterback, who started for the Hurricanes as a true freshman in 2014, and made the All-ACC first team in 2015. He hasn’t helped Miami bring back the glory days, but they are off to a 6-4 run this season, hoping to finish strong in Mark Richt’s first season. The Bears have sent scouts to a number of his performances with the Hurricanes. In 2017, the Jay Cutler era is over, whether John Fox is still the head coach or not. Fox wasn’t planning on giving Cutler any more games this season, but Brian Hoyer got injured, and so Cutler was put back on the field to try and do something with an injury-ravaged team.

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The Bears are going to have a very high pick, maybe 2nd or 3rd overall in next year’s draft. But is Kaaya good enough to go that high? The Los Angeles native is completing 61.5% of his throws, throwing for 19 touchdowns and 7 interceptions so far. His passer rating of 145.7 is better than last season, but is just under that of his freshman season. He plays in a system that might be better for pro teams to evaluate him in, but I’m not sure he’s good enough to get picked that early.

Most analysts have Kaaya as one of the top 4 or 5 quarterbacks heading into the draft, which makes it sound like taking him with in the first round is something of a reach. Right now, Deshaun Watson, DeShone Kizer and Mitch Trubisky are considered the better NFL prospects, but these things can take a mean twist after pre-draft workouts, interviews and closer looks from scouts and general managers. The Bears are probably just putting it out there they’re in for drafting a quarterback.

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