The Senior Bowl is often a chance for well-regarded college prospects to solidify themselves as first-rounders thanks to the absence of the true blue-chip guys. It is a chance for those second-tier guys to make an impression on all of the executives and scouts in attendance and really move up draft boards.
Apparently, Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr is doing just that this week in Mobile.
Carr – who is the younger brother of former No. 1 overall pick David Carr – has reportedly been far and away the most impressive quarterback at the Senior Bowl. He has blown away the competition this week and now looks like a solid bet to land in the first round.
While Carr’s competition at his position hasn’t been particularly stout, he has shown a lot to the scouts and executives on hand. Eastern Illinois’ Jimmy Garoppolo, Virginia Tech’s Logan Thomas, Miami’s Stephen Morris, San Jose State’s David Fales and Clemson’s Tajh Boyd have all fallen behind Carr so far this week. In fact, of those guys, only Garoppolo has really impressed scouts.
A few months ago Carr was considered a lock for the top-15 in the 2014 draft, but he has fallen off steadily, and a shaky bowl performance against USC further damaged his stock. The Trojans’ stout defense limited Carr severely, as he completed 29 of 54 passes for just 216 yards (only 4.0 yards per attempt), with two touchdowns and an interception.
Scouts Inc. currently gives Carr an overall grade of 84, placing him fifth in their quarterback rankings. Teddy Bridgewater (92), Blake Bortles (91), Johnny Manziel (90) and A.J. McCarron (85) all currently rank higher than him. But those rankings and grades will almost certainly shift as the draft process continues.
Carr put up monster numbers for Fresno State in 2013. He completed 68.7 percent of his passes, for 5,082 yards, with 50 touchdowns and just eight interceptions. That followed a junior season in which he completed 67.3 percent of his passes for 4,104 yards, with 37 touchdowns and just seven interceptions.
While those are absolutely huge numbers, Carr was doing that against Mountain West Conference competition, which is sure to give some scouts pause.
Carr stands at 6-2, is a solid 215 pounds, and possesses adequate arm strength to make all the throws he’ll need to in the NFL. He’s relatively athletic, has solid presence in the pocket and has outstanding intangibles.
The area Carr gets into trouble is that his mechanics aren’t always repeated and that can lead to some inaccuracy on his throws. Solid coaching could help eliminate those lapses, but the team that takes him will be betting that he can improve once in the league.
The bottom line right now is that Carr has definitely impressed at the Senior Bowl and has elevated himself into serious first-round consideration.