Dec 21, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Fresno State Bulldogs quarterback Derek Carr (4) throws a pass against the Southern California Trojans in the Las Vegas Bowl at Sam Boyd Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Derek Carr Shouldn't Worry Too Much About 2014 NFL Draft Stock


Bowl games can often have tough consequences on the stock of a high profile player.  In the case of Derek Carr though, his 2014 NFL draft standing is safe.

USC loss can’t derail dominant senior season for Carr

It wasn’t exactly the Cinderella end to an otherwise glorious season for Carr.  In the Las Vegas Bowl he faced a distracted but ultimately more talented USC team that finally was seeing some stability at the head coaching position.  As so often is the result, the more complete team one.  Absent of a defense or a running game, the Trojans were able to concentrate there efforts on stopping Carr.  He finished the game with a mortal 217 yards an two touchdowns with an interception.  Considering that stat line came after 54 pass attempts pretty much tells the story of how difficult it was for the senior.  Meanwhile the Trojan offense found it easygoing against the Bulldogs anonymous defense, closing out an emphatic 45-20 victory.  Carr will be questioned for his performance, particularly his shaky accuracy and erratic footwork in the face of a strong USC pass rush.  Such is what happens to a potential first round pick after a tough loss in a big game.  However, things will ultimately work out in his favor.  First and foremost, a lost to a premier program like Southern California is nothing to cry about.  Stanford can say the same thing.  Second, that one defeat can’t erase the season-long film of an otherwise dominant offensive season in which Carr compiled over 4,800 passing yards and 48 touchdowns.

Marcus Mariota and Bryce Petty exits leave his status safe

Reasons for not panicking about his 2014 NFL draft stock go beyond that though.  From a sheer physical standpoint, Carr is gifted enough to go in the top ten.  He has a great arm with multiple levels of delivery.  His accuracy and fundamentals are usually good though he needs some fine-tuning in terms of seeing better pass rushers on a consistent basis.  Height is not a problem, nor is mobility to escape pressure.  What he could really use is more bulk added to his frame.  At present teams are skeptical his lanky frame would last long against pro levels defenses.  It’s something that can be corrected with time and work, something Carr embraces.  Still, the most basic reason he is in no danger of falling out of the first round is simple math.  Thanks to the announcements by strong underclassmen like Marcus Mariota and Bryce Petty to return to school for 2014, it has considerably thinned the talent level available in the first round.  Such events often like borderline names like Carr to jump up boards.  Naturally he will need good showings at the Senior Bowl and scouting combine, but if he stays the course some team will accept whatever superficial risks there might be to make him their future starter.

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: 2014 Nfl Draft Bryce Petty Derek Carr Marcus Mariota USC

  • Gary Stewart

    as a ram fan i watched the usc fresno game and the buffalo game i am very interested in mack if we trade down. now jake long is banged up in the rams game so matthews looks real as a prospect although i believe we will trade down and take matthews only if he is there at the lower pick as a result barr and matthews may be off the board b4 the rams start their 5-6 picks in the top 50

    • Erik Lambert

      The Rams are the team everybody will be watching because they have the ammunition to move up but also the high draft choice to move down.

  • unclejesse40

    the best thing that can happen to some of these QB’s is to not be the best one on the board and not go to one of the crap teams that have never shown an ability to develop a QB. I think Bridgewater is going to be lucky this year that the Texans appear to have the team in place that a young QB can thrive in.

    • Erik Lambert

      It’s the ultimate Catch 22. Do you want to get paid more by going first overall by likely take a bigger beating and take longer to win or do you want to take the pay cut, play for a better team and win sooner?