2014 NFL Mock Draft: Derek Carr to the Minnesota Vikings, great fit

Fresno State Bulldogs quarterback Derek Carr (4) throws a pass against the Southern California Trojans in the Las Vegas Bowl at Sam Boyd Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings first task of the offseason is to find a new head coach, and they have a wide variety of candidates to look over and a list of finalists to formulate before coming to a decision. Early indications are that Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer has the inside track, as Adam Schefter reported earlier today that Zimmer is considered the favorite to land the Viking gig. That doesn’t mean he’s going to be hired, though, as Rick Spielman and the Vikings are expected to take their time before coming to a decision.

Another crucial task for the Vikings this offseason that will take some time is finding a franchise quarterback, and it would be a shock if the Vikings decided not to draft a quarterback with their first-round pick. The Vikings have the eighth overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, and their biggest position of need right now is definitely at quarterback. Josh Freeman is almost certainly not sticking around, and neither Christian Ponder nor Matt Cassel have shown the tools necessary to be franchise QBs. While getting help in the secondary is important, the Vikings biggest need is undoubtedly at quarterback, and they have to properly evaluate the QBs and draft a franchise QB this year.

In his latest 2014 NFL Mock Draft on NFLMocks.com (you can read the full piece by following this link), Sayre Bedinger has the Minnesota Vikings selecting Fresno State Bulldogs star quarterback Derek Carr with the eighth pick in the draft, and it’s a selection that definitely makes a great deal of sense. In fact, if Blake Bortles isn’t on the board, which he is unlikely to be, then this is the perfect pick for the Vikings.

Carr isn’t rated as highly as Bortles by many, but I think he’s just as good of a prospect as Bortles is. While Carr faced easier opponents in his conference in college, the fact that he plays in a spread offense shouldn’t hurt him. In fact, knocking down Carr by stating that playing in a spread offense hurts him is a crutch argument, since it’s more important to look at throws instead of stats anyway. That logic only holds if you are trying to downplay the numbers, and I don’t think any reasonable person who knows about evaluating draft prospects would argue that Carr’s numbers aren’t bloated. His raw stats definitely aren’t indicative of NFL success at all, but his throws and tools are.

Simply put, Derek Carr has the best arm talent of any quarterback in this class, and he is capable of throwing lasers in tight spaces downfield. He has plenty of upside and is definitely one of the top three QBs in the draft class. Teddy Bridgewater is undoubtedly my No. 1 guy, but I think the Vikings would love to have a guy like Carr on their side. With a strong coaching staff to help him become more consistent and a better decision-maker, I could see Carr being a true franchise QB. His ability to get the ball downfield will greatly help the Vikings and would be a fresh change from Christian Ponder, who clearly doesn’t have anywhere near Carr’s arm talent. Carr needs some work, but he has a lot of upside and is somebody worth investing in.

Topics: Derek Carr, Football, Fresno State Bulldogs, Minnesota Vikings, NFL Draft

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  • T. Tro

    How does his play look compared to his brother coming out of College?

  • 3kolu

    For Carr, he has all the talent including strong arm, athleticism, competitiveness, intelligence. I believe the key will be his decision-making and his presence in the pocket. If he can slip the outside rush and step-up in the pocket and make the tough throws, he could be very successful. But, I believe the trait he has to develop is the ability to transcend his game to the next level, kind of like Brett Favre. It didn’t matter who Brett was playing against, if they made one mistake, they’d pay dearly, and that’s what Carr needs to develop and quick if the Vikings select him in the upcoming draft.

    • http://www.musketfire.com/ Joe Soriano

      I agree with you, especially on arm strength being a big strength of his and decision-making being a weakness. Carr is one of those guys you have to stick with and groom properly, because he does have Stafford/Cutler-like arm talent. He’s also just as privy to making bad decisions as those guys were coming out of college, so Carr is boom-or-bust. I think his technique is a lot better than a few people give him credit for, and he’s smart enough to develop. It’s just that the team drafting him needs to be patient and surround him with good coaching. I’m not sold on any QB in this class other than Bridgewater, but Carr is one of the guys I really do like as a prospect.

      • 3kolu

        I have a few concerns with Carr, first is that the spread offense has had more criticism, than compliment. Then, he took a lot of snaps from the shotgun at Fresno State and how will that affect him at the next level. Also. a lot of his completions were from behind the LOS. And, though he has a strong arm, his deep ball wasn’t the stuff of legends. That’s been one of the problems with the Vikings offense, the inability to space the field. That has to be an area of concern for the next coaching staff. Can Derek pick-up the finer nuances of the game at the next level, and can he pick it up quickly. I believe the main competition is Bortles. They both have big frames, but can they extend plays i.e. Ben Rothlisberger, Aaron Rodgers, and Russel Wilson. The ability to extend plays, can cover over a multitude of deficiencies. That’s why I prefer Bortles, that’s the slight advantage I believe he has over Carr. But, it’s still early. I’d like to see the process through before making a final decision.

        • http://www.musketfire.com/ Joe Soriano

          Agreed, Carr definitely isn’t without some concerns that need to be dissected carefully, and I also find it very concerning that the vast majority of his completions were easy passes behind the LOS. Then again, I evaluate QBs off of tape and not stats, so that stuff usually is only a slim part of the equation in my evaluations.

      • 3kolu

        Yep, he;s definitely intriguing, you gotta love the skill set. Big arms all over the the later part of the playoffs, last year and this year.

  • Rickey Wiggins

    N000000000000000000000!

  • nj mj

    For all this hype he’s getting The guy looks like Christian ponder with a number 4 jersey I’m definitely not hoping to see him in a vikings jersey and suffer for another 3 years no thank you

  • cbtaylo

    Carr will be a bust, he is Ponder 2.0 nothing about him screams success, they should wait till the second round and make a pick if they cant get Bridgewater, Manziel or Bortles

    • http://www.musketfire.com/ Joe Soriano

      Carr definitely has some boom-or-bust to him, and I’m not going to deny that. I’m fine with people not liking Carr, but you have to find a different comparison other than Ponder; they are very different QBs.

  • cbtaylo

    I think Carr is a stretch, the talent drop off from Bridgewater and Manziel to Carr is pretty deep, not a franchise QB, he does not seem like a top 10 talent when you consider the guys you can get later in the 2nd round like the Alabama and LSU quarterbacks or Taj Boyd from Clemson. I also read where some scouts question Carr’s toughness handling pressure and pass rush situations. I think he is late first or 2nd round guy.

  • Joe Kuchinski

    I’d say my Vikings should draft the best available defensive guy at 8 or trade down abd grab Ra’Sheed Hageman and gather an extra 3rd or 4th. Then in round 2 again best defensive guy or if Boyd is there take him. But D is the main concern since this team is rebuilding. Then with 2 possibly 3 picks in round 3 you look at a guy like David Fales or Jimmy Garropollo and defensive guys again. Therefore the qb wouldn’t have the pressure of a first round spotlight. And if they tank again this season the qb class of 2015 will be insane! SKOL VIKINGS!

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