When Derek Carr entered the league, people viewed him differently. If you fast forward, Carr and many in his era remains a hot topic of debate. FPC Raiders writers Ray Apuria and Pete Camarillo debate Carr’s place in his era of quarterbacks.
Looking back at Carr’s tenure, how does he rate among those in the 2014-2016 QB range and why?
Outside of the team’s 12-4 season, Carr deals with a questionable overall squad. You can argue until the cows come home why, but the underlying point is defense or special teams failed the offense. With that said, in that mirage season, Carr was an uplifting force. As a result, he fought his way in the Top 10 argument, even Top 5. However, he’s since descended into the adequate range.
While he’s had instances of brilliance where he’s showed off an arm that can make any throw, the vision to find receivers and the brains to digest a defense quickly, his injuries have made him more cautious — and rightfully so. We don’t have 300-plus pound men looking to drop us into the turf by any means and we aren’t being harassed by linebackers and defensive backs who run like the wind. But, it appears gone are the days where Carr would go with reckless abandon, scramble and even dive (and flip) for additional yardage (remember that leap he took against the Saints in the season opener of that 12-4 season?). That set the tone.
Show and Prove
While he’s always had the arm , the portion of his game that will take Carr over the top is scrambling. If he can utilize his underrated athleticism and wheels more often, he adds a dangerous component. Asa result, defenses must account for this. Because at this stage, he’s developed the Peyton Manning “live another down” mentality when the rush approaches.
That’s a fine tactic, and it helped Manning sustain through years of punishment. Nevertheless, for a team looking to break through , ineptitude, Carr needs to once again set the tone. The Raiders and Carr must not lie down in the face of adversity.
Derek Carr sits ahead of every quarterback not named Wentz from 2014-16. You could make an argument for Dak or Goff over him and I wouldn’t hate it. Maybe I’m just a homer, but I’d take Carr over both of them considering D.C. played with considerably less coaching and talent on both sides of the ball for every year except one. Not to mention, Carr started from Day 1.
Ultimately, the Raiders did pretty well taking Carr considering the drafts around him. It’s ironic because Bridgewater and Bortles heard their names before him in 2014. They flashed as starters, but are now backups for various reasons. Manziel is out the league and Jimmy G. needs a healthy season before he enters this convo.
The rest of that 2016 class features Paxton Lynch, Connor Cook, Cardale Jones, Kevin Hogan and Christian Hackenberg who haven’t even lived up to their journey-man or boom or bust billings. Jacoby Brissett is probably a gem considering all that, but he is no Carr.
2015 featured can’t misses Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota, who also flashed but are now fighting for their jobs. Many viewed Brett Hundley and Bryce Petty as high upside passers in the later rounds of a dismal class.
Awful and Untested
Don’t get started on 2013, where half those guys are out or on their way out of the league (cough Geno Smith, Mike Glennon, Matt Barkley, E.J. Manuel).
Then you get to 2017, where the jury is still out whether Mahomes, Trubisky and Watson might be better than Carr at the same point and right now. Everyone else there headed towards journeymen. And 2018, is also too early to tell.
Either way, Carr was a second round pick and a great value in that draft as well as other comparable drafts.