Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr has been almost inarguably the most statistically impressive quarterback in college football this season, throwing for nearly 5,000 yards and 48 touchdowns for the Bulldogs, but that doesn’t mean he’s guaranteed any draft status.
I’ve been high on Carr all year, comparing him to something like a version of Jay Cutler. According to one AFC General Manager, per NFL.com, we might need to pull the reins back on Carr a bit.
“He’s at a lower level of competition, and he needs to develop better awareness, anticipation and pocket presence,” the GM said. “He can help himself in the bowl game and Senior Bowl.”
“I like him, but he’s not a first-round talent. His athletic ability and arm strength … he’s just not dynamic.”
Now, we need to clarify a few things here.
1. Just because this GM says Carr isn’t a first round talent doesn’t mean he won’t be a first round pick.
2. For that matter, it also doesn’t mean he’s not a first round talent. That’s just one guy’s opinion.
3. Take a quick peek at some QBs that HAVE been deemed first round talents, including Carr’s brother David.
4. This GM has issues in regards to Carr that every young QB has problems with, save for some rare–RARE exceptions like Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck, who also had their struggles (note INT numbers in rookie seasons).
Every young quarterback needs to improve upon awareness, anticipation, and pocket presence. Those are traits that can be learned and developed over time adjusting to the speed of the NFL. The problem is whether or not Carr has the chops to do it, and that’s something that will either make or break a GM come May when big decisions are made.
I think Carr is coming in at the perfect time, a time when there is a huge demand for quarterbacks in the NFL, especially in the top 10 picks of this year’s draft.
I don’t see any way he gets out of the top 10 unless he bombs the Senior Bowl, Combine, and his pro day workout. If offseason hype is building for Carr, I don’t even know if I’d expect him to participate in anything other than a pro day. Why would he? Why risk pushing yourself down draft boards if the hype is already there?
This GM has probably seen 10 times the amount of game footage/film that I’ve seen of Derek Carr, so it’s hard for me to say he’s flat out wrong, but everyone’s entitled to an opinion. I happen to think that this kid has a bright future, and I think he’ll be a high pick in the 2014 draft.