Teddy Bridgewater was my top-ranked quarterback prospect in the 2014 NFL Draft class, but the QB I was higher on than most was Derek Carr, and I think he was an absolute steal for the Oakland Raiders in the second round of the draft. With his ridiculous arm strength, extremely underrated athletic ability, and intangibles, Carr has all the physical and mental tools to be a great quarterback in this league. He also has experience in a video-game-like spread offense and in a pro-style offense, and he did a great job of elevating his teammates.
Carr struggled at times behind one of college football’s worst offensive lines, though he does need to improve his footwork and mechanics so that passes sail on him less. There’s a reason why the Raiders don’t want to start him yet- he isn’t the finished product and is coming from a small school in Fresno State with lower competition-but there’s also a reason why they love him; he has an incredible football mind.
The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that he spoke with a GM who stated that Carr is the Raiders “future” after watching tape on the second-round signal-caller, and it’s a sentiment I will definitely echo. This guy’s potential is limitless given his tools, and his accuracy and decision-making are better than some give him credit. No quarterback prospect does a better job of placing throws on back-shoulder passes, and that’s a key indicator of precision. He threw plenty of easy screens, but you can get a feel for his ability when focusing on his intermediate throws. Carr needs some polishing, but he could very well start this year with the way things are going for reclamation project Matt Schaub, who isn’t healthy right now either.