Jan 20, 2014; Fairhope, AL, USA; South Squad quarterback Derek Carr of Fresno State (4) rolls out to pass during practice at Fairhope Municipal Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Derek Carr's Senior Bowl Revival

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Fresno State’s Derek Carr has had a very good college career. In 2013 he lead the nation, throwing for 5,082 yards, with 50 TDs to only 8 INTs. He has been an excellent QB for the Bulldogs. Without question his draft stock was on the rise, that is until he squared off against USC in the Vegas Bowl. Many critics had questioned his level of competition, and viewed his weak showing as proof to their concerns. He looked hurried in the pocket, and threw for only 200 yards, 2 TDs and an INT. This gave pundits even more reason to believe that his numbers were inflated due to lower level competition and a pass-first spread offense. Out of all Senior Bowl participants, Carr needed a strong showing in Senior Bowl practices in order to boost his draft stock.

Carr not only had a strong showing, but many believed he wasn’t just the best quarterback in Mobile, AL, but the best football player period. He stayed late after practices, throwing to any receiver that would burn the midnight oil. He was praised for his velocity and accuracy. On a Tuesday that saw less than favorable conditions for quarterbacks, Carr remained consistent. He moved around well in the pocket, found ways to get the ball to receivers, and made good decisions overall.

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

Rummaging through articles and reading scouting reports from various sources, apparently Derek Carr has elevated his draft stock to possible top ten status. With the combine next month and four more months for scouts to study and evaluate his game tape, I can’t help but wonder-could Carr leapfrog Teddy Bridgewater and Johnny Manziel?

Unlikely, but anything is possible. At 6’3, 218 lbs., Carr fits more the mold of a prototypical passer. With reports coming lately questioning Bridgewater’s top 10 status and with Manziel being a more diminutive on-the-fly, gun slinger type, could Caldwell favor Carr over the two?

The Jaguars are faced with a tough predicament. Last year it was well known that the QB class wasn’t very deep. This year with potential 1st round prospects like Bridgewater, Manziel, Carr, Bortles, it seems to be a different story. I can’t recall (2012 aside course) a draft in the last few years where a QB crop was so heralded. Yes, it sounds great. In a perfect world, the Jaguars draft one of these guys and they go and become a franchise saver. However, the fact of the matter remains that none of them are a “lock” to become anything of the sort.

Keeping up with the draft and all of the information that is now readily available, it can be difficult to believe what you see and what you read. Is the hype earned? Is the criticism deserved? I’m no scout. I’ve said it before, and I will continue to say it. Of course I’ve liked what I’ve heard about Carr. Who wouldn’t? But does he look so good in these practices because the other QBs on the North and South rosters have performed so badly? (Tahj Boyd, Logan Thomas, David Fales)

Carr was in 1st round consideration before Senior Bowl week, but has his redemption given him top ten status? If Carr continues to impress, could the Jags pull the trigger at No. 3 overall?

If the Jaguars draft a QB with their first pick and whiff, they will set the franchise back even farther. A risky endeavor indeed.

-David R. Johns

 

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