(Editor’s Note: Heading into the upcoming NFL Draft, held May 8-10, DallasCowboys.com will take a closer look at the prospects, including some that could be potential fits with the Cowboys. Today’s featured player is Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr).
Name: Derek Carr
College: Fresno State
Honors: Carr was named the Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year and was first-team All-Mountain West. He was selected as a second and third-team All-American by various publications.
Key stat: Most will recognize Carr for being the younger brother of No. 1 overall pick David Carr, but that's a mistake. Carr rewrote the record books at Fresno State, becoming one of just 19 FBS quarterbacks to throw for more than 10,000 career yards and one of just four quarterbacks to ever throw for more than 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns in one season (2013). Carr's list of accolades is too long to repeat here.
Where He’s Projected: Carr falls just behind the highly-touted trio of Blake Bortles, Johnny Manziel and Teddy Bridgewater. Depending on who you talk to, though, he might be just as good or better than one or two of those headliners. He passes the eye test, and if the Senior Bowl is any indication, he can certainly handle himself like a pro -- something he credited his older brother for. Depending on the needs of the teams picking, he looks like a mid-first or early-second round pick.
How He Helps the Cowboys: Many people think the Cowboys need to look toward the future of the quarterback position in this draft, but it seems unlikely the team would spend its No. 16 overall pick on a signal-caller. Carr could fit that mold, though. He could be available in the second round, which would allow him to sit and develop behind
Scout’s Take: I feel that Carr is the most ready to play of all of these top quarterbacks. I can see it in his film of how he manages the offense.
The majority of his snaps, like Johnny Manziel, were taken in a shotgun formation. He has an NFL-caliber arm to make all the throws. It is between him and Blake Bortles as far as who does the best job of reading defenses and getting his team in the right play. It would surprise you of how good of an athlete he really is.
He does show the ability to move in the pocket and work the ball down the field. Plays with very good vision and does a nice job of keeping his eyes down the field. He can hit his receivers on the move and he can fire the ball in a tight window on one pass, then throw the screen or the fade with nice accuracy and touch on the next one.
In my live look of him at the Senior Bowl, you could tell that he liked to compete. Plays like a mentally tough guy, and he handles the pressure well. Is not likely to hold the ball and panic in the pocket. Knows where he needs to go with it and then gets it out. Carr is good at making decisions fast but is not a careless player with the ball in his hands.
When protection did break down, he handled the hit, bounced back and was ready for the next play. The numbers do not lie for how productive he is. He’s relentless in the way he attacks a defense.
Carr will not get the credit or praise that Johnny Manziel, Blake Bortles and Teddy Bridgewater are receiving but the bottom line is that he is every bit as good. – Bryan Broaddus