Minnesota Vikings Draft Profile: Derek Carr

By Nick Baker

The Minnesota Vikings are in the process of looking for a franchise signal caller, and right now I’m convinced that Derek Carr is the man for the job. The Vikings overhauled the coaching staff this offseason, and new offensive coordinator Norv Turner is a guy who has worked primarily with pocket-passing strong-armed quarterbacks in the past.

Carr has one of the strongest, if not the strongest arm in the draft and at 6-foot-3, there are no concerns with his height. Not only does Carr possess the physical traits to be a successful quarterback, being a starter at Fresno State for three years means he’s about as pro-ready as they come in this draft.

Carr is poised in the pocket and shuffles well to evade pressure, but coming out of a spread offense, he will need to adjust to life under center in the NFL. That shouldn’t be a problem, however, as he ran multiple offenses while in college and took his fair share of snaps under center during his early years.

While arm strength is his biggest asset, Carr is an underrated athlete — he ran a 4.69 40-yard dash — and also doesn’t force throws often, a trait that has plagued Christian Ponder over his three-year career. Carr has had single-digit interception numbers in each of his three years as a starter, yet attempted over 1,600 passes for 113 touchdowns.

Carr’s accuracy can be off at times, but the root problem is often his inconsistent footwork. With a clean pocket, he steps up and delivers strikes with ease, but if he’s squeezed for space, he relies on his arm to make the throw. His strength can make up for this at times, but improvement here could easily make him the best quarterback prospect in the draft.

His arm strength is only comparable to Zach Mettenberger and Logan Thomas, and with no obvious weaknesses, he’s a player that presents high upside with an already elevated floor. Carr has all the tools to succeed as an NFL quarterback, and if he were to become a member of the Vikings, he’s a player that Turner could cater the offense to and make some major improvements over the 2013 squad that ranked 24th in passer rating.

Nick Baker is a contributing writer for Rant Sports and you can follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and add him to your network on Google.

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