2014 NFL Draft: Fresno State’s Derek Carr Back in First Round Mix


Nov 2, 2013; Fresno, CA, USA; Fresno State Bulldogs quarterback Derek Carr (4) drops back for a pass against the Nevada Wolf Pack during the first quarter at Bulldog Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

As if there weren’t already enough players at the quarterback position who were potential first round candidates come time for the 2014 NFL Draft, one name that had previously cooled off is heating up again.

In a big way.

Fresno State’s Derek Carr drew some first round hype before the college football season, and because of the emergence of guys like Teddy Bridgewater and Marcus Mariota in the national spotlight, he was kind of pushed aside at least in the eyes of many college football and NFL Draft fans.

Well, I think it’s time to get back on the hype train for Carr, brother of former number one overall pick David Carr of the expansion Houston Texans. I don’t think the younger Carr is as good as guys like Bridgewater and Mariota at this point, maybe not even as good as Johnny Manziel of  Texas A&M, but certainly he’s got a ton of skill, and has shown a trajectory of improvement over the course of his collegiate career that has to have scouts going back and taking a long look at his tape.

Through eight games, Carr has proven his worth as an elite level college quarterback with 3,061 yards, 28 touchdowns, and just four interceptions. He’s currently sitting on a career high completion percentage at 69.2 percent, and has the highest total QBR of his career by nearly 15 points.

With Carr playing the best ball of his career, you have to wonder if this is a guy who could yet sneak into the top 15 of the draft. He is going to wow people in the offseason workouts with his arm strength and I think the hype could build to something huge for this kid. Here’s our pre-season report on Carr, who has drawn some Jay Cutler comparisons:

One of the strongest arms in the country and certainly one of the more prolific and efficient passers of 2012. The younger brother of former #1 overall pick David Carr has a chance to make his own mark on college football and lead Fresno State back into the national spotlight after showing NFL scouts what he is capable of last year when he threw for 4,104 yards, 37 touchdowns, and seven interceptions. He completed over 67 percent of his passes and has everyone buzzing that he could be a top three quarterback in a deep class of players this season. He reminds me a lot of Jay Cutler in the way he sort of has a natural bent toward throwing the ball off his back foot, and that could also be his main weakness as a prospect. Obviously, any time you throw off your back foot you lose velocity, and that has caused Carr to float some balls. Pretty athletic quarterback who can make plays on the move and run an up-tempo offense as well as anyone in the country.

When Carr is able to set his feet and step into a throw, there aren’t many in the country who are better than he is. Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun called Carr an “NFL quarterback playing in college.”

Goes to a lot of screens and check downs, but is definitely capable of orchestrating a vertical offense and can make every throw.