Saturday, June 1, 2013

Derek Carr (QB Fresno State) Pre-2013 Scouting Report

by Justis Mosqueda

Derek Carr is most likely going to be the last senior quarterback I'm going to do in this series. I either have a lack of film or a lack of interest in the rest of the seniors in this class. What's interesting about Carr, to me, is that people have him ranked all over the place. Some have him higher than Fales (ranking Fales as low as a 5th rounder) and some have him lower than guys like Zach Mettenberger (who I think is a late round pick unless he makes a big jump in 2013.) There's so many varying opinions in this year's class, that it's hard to project where guys will actually go.

Carr plays a lot like his older brother, David, the first pick in Houston Texans history. Another comparable player that's currently playing in the NFL is Jay Cutler. This doesn't just mean all the good traits, though. Carr is a gun-slinger by definition. He's got a big arm, but rarely uses it. Actually, it's an interesting dynamic. Carr's biggest plus, based on my opinion and from what I've heard, is his arm, but he throws deeper than 10 yards less than McCarron, Boyd, Fales, or Murray.

Here are the passing charts I made for reference:

The way his offense is designed is very horizontal. He actually had the least amount of passes in the 11-19 range and the 20+ range; plus, he threw more to the right than any other quarterback I scouted. Derek Carr's offense very much makes him a "system QB", but not in a way that it truly takes advantage of his pluses. I hope I can see more of his deep ball in 2013.

His biggest flaw has to be how he reacts to the rush. When Carr sees the rush, he focuses and loses all footwork and mechanical principles.

Take this play for example:

Derek is set up to throw into the endzone while a rusher is loose and coming at him. Carr has ~4/5 yards before he has to throw the ball.

Carr gets the ball out before he get hit, but he goes back to avoid all contact with the rusher. He throws in a fade-away type motion and the ball doesn't get to the wide receiver in stride, allowing the defensive back to help breakup the pass in the endzone. I aligned the first photo of Carr with the second. See how far back he fades to throw, when he should be stepping up or planting his foot in the dirt to pass?

He really does play like his brother in that aspect, but that's what ended up ruining his NFL career. Carr needs to step up more and dart back less. Sometimes, he ends up taking a 15+ yard sack when he could have stepped up to make a pass. I understand that Fresno State's line isn't stocked with blue chip linemen, but he's playing in the shotgun every snap and should at least have some pocket presence. He throws passes off his back foot in a fade-away motion to avoid any and all contact. If he learns to step up into passes he could also improve his arm strength.

Outside of arm strength, I really don't see a part of his game that sticks out to me. He's got good size. He reads defenses okay, but you have to take into account of the system. He's accurate enough to make it to the next level, but he probably wants to improve there. He's not a great athlete, but he's "functionally mobile". Nothing else really stands out. To me, he's a in the McCarron/Boyd group of 3rd-5th round quarterback prospects.

Justis Mosqueda's current 2013 quarterback rankings:
David Fales San Jose State 1st Round grade
A.J. McCarron Alabama Late Day 2/Day 3 grade
Tajh Boyd Clemson Late Day 2/Day 3 grade
4 Derek Carr Fresno State Late Day 2/Day 3 grade
Aaron Murray Georgia Day 3 grade
Logan Thomas Virginia Tech Day 3 grade

Justis Mosqueda is a Journalism student that writes for, and cuts videos of NFL Draft prospects for

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