2014 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Fresno State QB Derek Carr
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11 years ago, the Houston Texans made the first draft selection in franchise history by selecting Fresno State quarterback David Carr first overall. As it turns out, it was not a very good selection, as Carr never had a winning season during his five years in Houston and spent the rest of his years as a backup.
This year, Carr’s younger brother, Derek, finds himself as Fresno State’s starting quarterback. There was once speculation that he would follow in his brother’s footsteps and be the first overall pick, but now Carr finds himself in a position where he needs to have a very good year in order to assure that he’ll be taken at any point.
With such a good class of quarterbacks entering the league, even a great showing this year may not be enough to erase the mistakes that he made in 2012.
While Carr did have an effective season overall — he threw for 4,104 yards and 37 touchdowns — much of his success came against inferior Mountain West opponents. Carr struggled to get things done against Oregon and Boise State, and he had an extremely rough day when the Bulldogs faced the 6-6 SMU Mustangs in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl. Carr was the victim of seven sacks, threw two interceptions which both were run back for touchdowns, and ended the day with a QBR of just 12.4.
It’s always a mystery as to how NFL teams will formulate their draft strategy, but don’t count on Carr being selected in 2014. There are two big things that will make him less desirable to NFL teams: he plays in a bad conference, and he only works out of the shotgun. Plenty of dominant college quarterbacks who shared those qualities failed to be picked, including Timmy Chang, Case Keenum and Kellen Moore to name a few.
Additionally, lots of teams only carry two quarterbacks and have already found a developmental quarterback. Two high-profile players who had lots of college success, Tennessee‘s Tyler Bray and Arizona‘s Matt Scott were not drafted and had to catch on as undrafted free agents. With a full complement of talented signal-callers entering the draft who play against elite competition and have experience under center, it makes things all the more difficult for Carr.
It’s entirely possible that he’ll carve out a long career as a backup, but he will certainly have an uphill battle.
- QB vision is good, though not spectacular
- Not a scrambler, but moves very well behind the line of scrimmage
- Generally pretty effective throwing medium and long-distance passes, though that accuracy drops off when he is forced to make a quick throw
- Mechanics are a bit choppy, motion seems kind of rushed and he seems jumpy when he moves around in the pocket
- Short-range accuracy is questionable
- Doesn’t always do a great job of getting away from pressure
- Operates exclusively out of the shotgun and will have to learn to play under the center in the NFL
Carr’s gotten off to a very good start in 2013, having beat Rutgers and Boise State while throwing for 1,121 yards and 12 touchdowns. He has a pretty easy schedule the rest of the way, so it should be interesting to see if he maintains his traditional practice of putting up spectacular performances against weak opponents.
Other than a possible bowl appearance for the Bulldogs, Carr’s most interesting game that remains should be his showdown in the season finale with San Jose State quarterback David Fales, a fellow NFL Draft hopeful.
2014 Draft Projection: Undrafted
Film Watched: vs. Oregon (2012), vs. Boise State (2012), vs. SMU (2012), vs. Ole Miss (2011)