Derek Carr seems to be the name on the tip of everyone’s tongue as reports from organized team activities have indicated that there is a distinct possibility that Carr will push Matt Schaub for the starting quarterback position. Carr was picked up in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders. He comes to the team out of Fresno State and is the younger brother of David Carr. David was the first overall draft pick in the 2002 NFL Draft selected by the Houston Texans.
Derek Carr began his college career at Fresno State in 2009 when he enrolled as an early entry freshman in order to participate in spring football. At that point in time, head coach Pat Hill talked about how as a true freshman, Carr was definitely in the mix to be the starting quarterback, but days before the 2009 season began, Hill announced that Ryan Colburn, a junior, would start over Carr. The 2011 season saw Carr taking over the starting quarterback position after red shirting in 2010. During the three years that Carr was the starter, he logged 12,843 passing yards and totaled 113 touchdowns. He is one of 19 players in school history to have thrown for over 10,000 yards and over 100 touchdowns.
He received the 2013 CFPA Elite Quarterback Award for his performance over the course of his three seasons starting at Fresno State. Carr wears the number four as homage to his favorite NFL player, the great Brett Favre. Carr has said that he admires Favre the most as he’s the type of player who never quits. Carr also lists his brother David as his favorite athlete saying, “He is the kind of person I want to be.” Carr’s other brother Darren was a defensive lineman at Houston as well.
Carr married his wife Heather in 2012 and attributes him getting his life prioritized to her. His priorities now are faith, family, and then football. He talked about how this was definitely not the way his mindset always was. He talked of his early college days saying, “I was out running around, living the life. Everyone wanted to hang out with the Next Big Thing, and I soaked it up like an idiot. I want to go back and punch that guy in the face.” He and Heather have a son Dallas who had initially given them somewhat of a scare as he needed to undergo three operations because of his intestines being tied.
Carr has made a big splash in OTAs recently with many reporting that the he is much better than the Raiders had expected him to be this early on in his NFL career. Head coach Dennis Allen has talked about how Carr has shown significant improvement and most reports coming out of OTAs has shown that he is already taking reps away from Matt McGloin. Allen says, “He’s very smart. He’s a highly intelligent guy. He comes out here and he works every day and that’s to be expected. That’s one of the reasons why we took the player, because we liked the player, we like his skill set and we like his mindset.”
While it is still too early to really tell if Schaub will be ousted as the Raiders’ starting QB, it is definitely interesting to see the instant impact that Carr has had on the franchise even this early on. Definitely an underrated quarterback in the draft, Carr is demonstrating that the Raiders got quite the steal when they were able to snag him in the second round. It’s also really interesting to see a young player with such a mature mindset and solid priorities. The QB competition will be closely scrutinized as we wait to see what will unfold in training camp. It was really surprising to me to see that Carr is already cutting into McGloin’s reps this early on. If nothing else, this QB competition has given Raider Nation yet another thing to fuel the heated debates that run rampant in the Raiders’ fan base.