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NFL Prospect Focus: Derek Carr

Amid a strong draft class, Fresno State's quarterback is getting some attention. Greg Gabriel

Print This November 26, 2013, 11:00 AM EST

While Teddy Bridgewater, Johnny Manziel, and Marcus Mariota are getting the bulk of the publicity, the guy slowly moving up the charts as the top quarterback in the draft is Fresno State’s Derek Carr. Carr is the younger brother of former first overall pick David Carr, who also went to Fresno State

I’ve heard some scouts bang Carr because his brother did not have great success in the NFL. That is ridiculous thinking. The only things they have in common are blood and the same school. They are two different players who played in different style offenses more than 10 years apart. Let’s take a look at Derek.

Carr is a fifth-year senior and a three-year starter at Fresno State. He graduated early from high school and enrolled at Fresno State in January of 2009. He played as a backup in 2009 then red-shirted in 2010. He has been the starter since 2011 and has shown improvement every year. To date, his numbers in the 2013 season are second to none. He has completed 350 of 502 passes for 3942 yards, 39 touchdowns, and only four nterceptions. His completion percentage is 69.7%. Granted, he throws a lot of short passes, but 69% is exceptional accuracy.

Carr has excellent size for the position. He is listed as being 6’3 – 218 lbs. He has a good frame with good arm length. He is a very good athlete for the position with speed and quick feet. He reportedly has run a 4.58 40-yard dash. His play speed is easily in the 4.6 range. Carr plays from a spread formation and I have not seen him take a snap form under center. He sets up quickly and is very good at going through a progression and finding an open receiver. He holds the ball high and has a very quick delivery. When he makes his decision on who to target, the ball is out of his hand instantly. He has good vision and rarely makes a poor decision. He does not force throws and, consequently, throws few interceptions.

Carr has very good arm strength. He can easily throw the ball 55 yards and his deep ball accuracy is excellent. I like his his ball placement. He consistently puts the ball where receivers can get yards after the catch and where the ball can’t get intercepted. He shows touch and accuracy on all different throws.
Carr is poised in the pocket, and has a good feel for pass rushers. He has the quickness to avoid pass rushers and the feet and speed to extend plays. While he doesn’t run a lot, he is very effective when he decides to run, showing a burst and the ability to make a defender miss.

While he throws a lot of short passes, Carr can make all the throws needed to be an NFL QB. He can throw deep outs and corner routes as well as seams and flies. Like I said earlier, on his deeper throws, his accuracy and ball placement is excellent.

I see no reason why Carr will not be a successful NFL quarterback. He has matured both physically and mentally since he arrived at Fresno. To give you an idea of his mental toughness, in August, his son was born with complications. The child needed three surgeries in his first five weeks of life. This all happened while Carr was in preseason practice and the early games of the season. To be able to endure that and still play the way he has this year is a testament to his football and personal character. Many would have folded under the pressure.

Don’t be surprised, come next May, that Carr is among the top 10 players drafted, and the way he is climbing, maybe even the top five. This player has come a long way in the last year.

Follow me on twitter: @greggabe

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