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Derek Carr underrated
Derek Carr isn’t Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady but he may be the most underrated quarterback in the NFL right now.
The Las Vegas Raiders seem to be trending upwards under head coach Jon Gruden for a second time.
The Raiders defense needs to vastly improve. Only six teams gave up more yards than Vegas did. They were ranked 29th in sacks in 2020 with only 21.
The Raiders were in the bottom third of the league in interceptions too. Only nine teams gave up more yards-per-attempt than Vegas did (7.5). All these teams had one thing in common, none of them made the postseason.
Trade Derek Carr?
There have been talks of the Raiders trading Derek Carr. Rumors came out at the beginning of February that the Raiders might be interested in trading Carr and that there were other teams asking about his availability.
My first thought was Derek Carr is a very good, underrated quarterback and trading Derek Carr might come back to bite the Raiders in the ass.
I can’t imagine that Gruden doesn’t like Carr. If he wasn’t sure about him when he took the Raiders job, he’s got to be convinced about his signal caller now. Recently the Raiders organization reportedly said they weren’t actively shopping Derek Carr.
Washington reportedly is very interested in acquiring Carr from Las Vegas. What Derek Carr is worth varies in the eyes of different people. I’ve heard two first round picks all the way to a second round pick.
Anyone who thinks Derek Carr is only worth a second round pick is a moron. He isn’t the elite-of-the-elite quarterback like Rodgers, Brady, or Mahomes but he is leading that next level of signal callers with the ability and talent to join the elite.
He was only 14th in the league with 517 pass attempts in 2020 but threw for over 4,000 yards. A better defense that puts the ball back in Carr’s hands is one way he could get more pass attempts.
Jon Gruden is a quarterback guru, despite this, his teams have always ran the ball. Gruden isn’t one of those QB coach’s that is pass, pass, and then pass again type of coaches. He has always kept his offenses pretty balanced and as a result Carr’s attempts went down since Gruden took over. Despite this his numbers have still increased overall.
What I Remember
Two moments stick out to me when I think of Derek Carr, the first is the season opener of his senior season at Fresno State.
The 2013 college football season started on a Thursday and what I remember is watching Derek Carr play Rutgers and passing for 465 yards and 5 touchdowns.
I thought “this guy is a top 5 pick in next years NFL draft”. Not because of his stats but rather his skillset, poise, and temperament. That season he won his 2nd straight MWC offensive player-of-the-year award.
Carr’s stats read 5,083 passing yards for 50 td – 8 int.
Carr didn’t get drafted until the 2nd round of the draft though. I chalked this up to his brother’s failures as a top pick, he didn’t live up to the expectations that were expected from him.
I knew Derek was not David Carr and I thought the Raiders got a steal drafting him with the 36th overall pick.
The second thing it just happened within the last 6-7 months. I was on twitter and people were talking about Carson Wentz and someone said something about Derek Carr.
The tweet was along the lines of wasn’t Derek Carr supposed to be good? Whatever the statement was it made me look up his stats, this was prior to the 2020 season. It showed Carr just threw for over 4,000 yards for a second straight season in 2019.
I was surprised when I saw his numbers because they were better than his 3 pro-bowl seasons in almost every statistical category. I don’t normally get shocked by a players stats that I am not aware of. His touchdowns were down but he still threw 21 touchdowns and only 8 interceptions. It wasn’t like he threw picks.
Any talk about Derek Carr anywhere, seemed to have negative connotations, like he was regressing, but this was not the case at all. So I paid extra close attention to him in 2020. Derek Carr is idiotically underrated by media and fans alike.
Derek Carr’s stats
Before I get into numbers, Derek Carr has the poise, leadership, arm strength, and intangibles to be a top NFL quarterback. He isn’t far off now.
Carr just threw for 4,103 yards. His third straight 4,000+ season. Ten quarterbacks threw for more yards but only one of those had less passing attempts than Carr, Kirk Cousins had one less pass attempt than Carr had.
Many QB’s had 50-100 more attempts than Carr. He threw for 27 td – 8 int.
Carr completed over 67% of his passes. This was down from 2019, when Carr had the 10th best completion percentage in NFL history (70.4).
To add some relevance to this, six of those top 10 percentages all-time are from Drew Brees.
It could’ve been said that Carr’s quarterback rating needed to improve. That would have had to been said prior to 2019 though.
In 2018 his rating was 93.9.
In 2019 it rose to 100.8
2020-101.4 QB rating
Carr was 2nd in the NFL in game winning drives in 2020 (5) and tied for 3rd in 4th quarter comebacks (3).
There are a handful of quarterbacks that are an upgrade from Derek Carr but the number isn’t large when you factor in that he’s only going to be 30-years-old in 2021.
Derek Carr is top 10 in almost every category and he shouldn’t be undervalued anymore. He is 50-100 more attempts in a season from his numbers really exploding.