In 2002 David Carr was the first overall selection of the expansion Houston Texans, the newest team in the National Football League. The young QB out of Fresno State came out of college and into the professional ranks with all of the usual bells and whistles. He had size. He had great arm strength. He played his collegiate career in a professional style offense. The sky seemed to be the limit for the young man from Fresno California.
The Houston Texans were very excited about their young prospect and had very high hopes for him. The Texans did everything they could for their young quarterback. Well, all except one. They did not give him an offensive line with the ability to protect him. In Carr's first four seasons in Houston, Carr was sacked 208 times. Under the tremendous beating Carr's once promising career lead the way out of Houston, and, to a life of a career back up standing on the sidelines as newer and younger prospects took their turn behind center. The impression that most people had when asked about David Carr is that he was weak when it came to standing up against the rush and that he could not deliver the ball when under pressure.
In 2009 like his older brother, Derek stayed close to home deciding to follow in his brothers footsteps, attending and playing football for Fresno State University. In his freshman year Derek played in a pro style offense, but, when the old coaching staff was replaced after Derek's freshman year the pro style offense was scrapped in favor of the more wide open spread offense. An offense which is designed to open up the passing lanes and create space for receivers to run after the catch.
Although Fresno State may have been out manned when playing larger schools with superior overall talent, Derek's skill, intelligence, and arm strength allowed Fresno State to compete. Like his brother before him Derek amassed mind boggling numbers. Over his four year career at Fresno Derek Carr threw for 12,843 yards with 113 touchdown passes and only 24 interceptions along with a career completion percentage of 66.7.
Derek's colligate career was suppose to be crowned with glory in the Las Vegas Bowl on December 21, 2013. Unfortunately the USC Trojans had different plans. Derek played poorly, missing wide open receivers, and did not playing well under the pressure of the Southern California pass rush.
The first words out of the prognosticators and all of the talking heads was that Derek was just like his brother. He could not stand up under pressure.
Second Tier Prospect
When the NFL Draft came around in 2014. Derek Carr was deemed to be a second tier prospect. Teddy Bridgewater, Johnny Manziel, and Blake Bortles were considered to be the cream of the quarterback crop in 2014.
Although it had been twelve years since David Carr had been taken number one overall by the Houston Texans the memories of the scouts had not faded. They knew all too well about quarterbacks named Carr that haled from the central valley of California. The scouts were not going to be made fools of again. They would give this Carr a "fair evaluation", but, no one was going to dare say that Derek Carr was the best quarterback prospect in this year's quarterback class. No matter what Derek's game tape may say or not say no one was going to have the courage to stick their neck out. Not after the "failure" of David Carr.
David vs Derek
It always amazes me how very highly paid people can be so foolish. Yes, Derek Carr is the younger brother of David Carr. Yes, they both played their college ball at Fresno State, but, if you take a closer look, you will find that there are some differences between these two brothers and those differences can make all the difference in the world.
First of all Derek Carr has his brother David. Derek grew up with the perfect role model for someone who wants to become a professional quarterback. I know it has been well documented, but, Derek started to learn how to break down game tape and read NFL defenses when he was twelve years old. Yes, David Carr to many is considered a bust, but, you do not play in the NFL for over a decade without having some talent, and, without learning a thing or two along the way.
Secondly, Derek has maturity. He is a married man with an infant son. For most this would be enough, but when Derek's son Dallas was born there were complications. Dallas' intestines were tangled at birth and the new born baby needed immediate surgery. For three weeks Derek went from the hospital, to school, and then to the practice field. While most young men his age were trying to decide which girl to date Derek was facing real life problems and serious responsibilities. When most young men are looking for the next party Derek Carr was dealing with life and death.
Derek Carr is a man with a wife and child. He understands the value of life because the life of his new born son was almost taken from him and his wife Heather.
What this means is that Derek Carr is a man who understand the position and opportunity he has been given. He understands that each day is a gift, and, that he has been given talents that very few people possess. He has a chance to grab not the brass ring, but, a ring of gold that very few people ever realistically get to aspire.
Do you really think that a pass rush is going to bother Derek Carr so much?
Best QB In The Draft
The Oakland Raiders selected Derek Carr in the 2nd round with the 36th overall pick of the 2014 NFL Draft. It is my belief that no other player entering the NFL this year is more prepared to succeed then Derek Carr. Entering the league right now no one has a more complete set of skills at the quarterback position.
George O'Leary the Head Football Coach at University of Central Florida believes that Blake Bortles needs at least another year to mature as a player before he will be ready to play in the NFL. Teddy Bridgewater is an intelligent player who will need to be put into the right system in order to succeed in the NFL. For all of the hype and media promotion Johnny Manziel is at best a project. He did not make line calls a Texas A&M. He rarely read a defense past his first read. He has bad footwork, and possibly most important of all he showed a lack of maturity and respect for his superiors (i.e. his coaches) at Texas A&M.
If Derek Carr's last name was Brown, and, he had gone to a Pac 12, Big 10, or dare I say an SEC school to play his colligate football, he would have been the first quarterback taken in the 2014 NFL Draft.
It is the fortune of the Oakland Raiders that this prejudice allowed Derek Carr to fall to the 2nd round and into the lap of Reggie McKenzie.