Will the Cleveland Browns select Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr with the fourth over-all pick, or the twenty-sixth pick? Will they draft Carr at all? Many draft prognosticators believe the Browns to be “in love” with him.
I don’t scout in the same venue as most others do, because many focus on the good rather than the bad. I suppose that is why so many men end up a bundle of frayed nerves drooling over the voluptuous blond with full lips and 36 DD’s…but not the psychotic personality behind those visual traits.
Just what are the negative qualities embedded in Carr that turns me off? First, let’s review what I look for in a quarterback.
The qualities I look for are:
- Rises to the occasion.
- Handles pressure easily.
- A leader.
- Handles the blitz.
- Accuracy versus the blitz.
- Pocket presence.
- Extends plays.
- Deep ball accuracy.
- Short pass accuracy.
- Good passer [timing, touch-pass, quick delivery].
The weaknesses/negatives Derek Carr brings to the table with him are as follows:
CBS Sports says: ” Played primarily out of the shotgun, and must show the ability to take snaps from under center and read defenses while dropping back. Struggled against better competition, including a poor career finale as USC constantly harassed Carr, who was unable to move the ball consistently in the face of pressure. Will rush passes when blitzed, frequently starting down and overthrowing targets. Stats inflated by Fresno State’s pass-happy offense. Accuracy was inconsistent on critical plays in several of Fresno State’s biggest games in 2013.”
From WalterFootball: “anxiety issues; can get flustered by a pass rush; level of competition; lacks mobility; not a running threat; small hands. Against good defenses, Carr could get flustered by a heavy pass rush. That is a legitimate concern considering that problem is what led to his older brother being a bust. Derek Carr beat up on weak competition and will need to get better in his ability to handle pressure. Sources have told WalterFootball.com that Carr has some anxiety issues that will have to be ironed out with his NFL coaching staff. Those could be seen in the fourth quarter against San Jose State and the bowl game against USC.”
FootballOutsiders: “He’s a quarterback capable of quick decisions, high velocity throws with tight-window accuracy, and the skill to make positive plays under pressure. He also has an impulsive streak that can lead to inaccurate throws, poor ball placement, and bad decisions.”
RotoWorld NBC Sports: “As the draft process drags into the home stretch, reality and theoretical possibility have been discussed so interchangeably that the definition of certain players begins to change in a way that makes it difficult to remember who they actually are. Derek Carr is a good example of using statistics – to give the illusion he is better than he really is. During the season, he was an efficient quarterback in an extremely QB-friendly system who posted great numbers but didn’t necessarily demand attention. Since the season has ended, he’s been mythologized into a cannon-wielding West Coast disciple (due to one season under Pat Hill as the starter) with NFL bloodlines. The reality and fantasy of the situation distort the prospect. Yes, Carr has a strong arm, but it is of equal note that either Tim DeRuyter was misusing him at FSU or Carr’s weaknesses were being intelligently shielded. It’s one or the other. And if the latter is true, it wouldn’t much matter if Carr could throw 200 yards from his knees.”
InsideTheFilmRoom: “…yet, like his brother, Derek is easily rattled by pressure. Gets easily flustered in the pocket, makes poor decisions under duress, footwork/accuracy goes to hell under pressure and generally ineffective when teams blitzed him. Played in a One-Read option spread offense where he didn’t have to progression read, a lot of his throws were bubble screens, played in the Mountain West against lesser competition and struggled against the bigger teams he faced. The most alarming example of this for Derek was his final game against USC where the Trojans consistently and relentless blitzed Fresno State forcing Carr to make quick decision in a ‘dirty’ pocket. It was by far Carr’s worst game of the season.”
Obviously, many would rather focus on the smoke and mirrors of stats that make Carr look better than he actually is, and while he has a big-arm, that alone isn’t the critical skill needed to be successful at the next level. The intangibles I look for, as noted above, are the intelligent and critical skills needed to provide the best chance of success in the NFL. Too many fail to throw those skills into the boiling pot when considering who to draft.
I may not be known to many as a draft “guru”, but a dozen years of “drafting” for very real money makes one astute at what to look for in a college prospect, because it meant winning a lot of money, or losing a lot of money – and quarterbacks have been my bread and butter. If I were the Browns General Manager, Derek Carr is someone I’ll leave on the board for some other team to risk their future on – pass on Carr.
Some Johnny Manziel critics say his ego is too big – but Carr fans ignore his larger-than-life ego? Carr has been quoted by many sources as saying he is by far the best quarterback in the draft, and will be drafted first, before any other quarterback. Sure, Derek.