Derek Carr will be a 23-year-old NFL rookie in 2014. Carr played his senior year of high school at Bakersfield Christian, before enrolling early at Fresno State. As a senior in high school he was named the National Small School Player of the Year, leading his team to the section title game. He threw for 4,000 yards and 46 touchdowns.
Carr was recruited by Utah, Arizona, Cal and USC. Carr became the starter at Fresno St. in 2011 -- throwing for 3,544 yards, 26 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He had a breakout year in 2012, throwing for 4,000 yards, 37 touchdowns and only seven interceptions. Derek followed his brother David to Fresno State to finish what he had started. David, who is arguably the most high profile player in school history, became the number one pick for the Houston Texans in 2002. Derek has been voted a team captain two years running and has already graduated with a degree in Recreation Management.
Carr is a three-year starter, the reigning Mountain West Player of the Year, and has made 27 consecutive starts at quarterback. He played under center his first year as a starter in Pat Hill's pro-style offense, and has orchestrated the spread/hurry-up the last two seasons under Tim Deyruter's leadership. Carr’s play, combined with his physical attributes, has drawn comparisons to former Senior Bowl quarterbacks Jay Cutler and Christian Ponder.
Carr has good size and build for the position. He's an above-average athlete, who can make you pay with his feet if defenses are not careful. He possesses a natural over-the-top delivery, getting rid of the ball quickly and showing a very quick release. Carr can also manipulate his throwing motion when need be, throwing it from different angles to avoid defenders. Blessed with special arm talent, Carr may have the top arm in the 2014 draft class. He excels in the quick passing game, throwing quick screens and other fast-breaking routes to his loaded group of wide receivers. He will drive the ball into tight windows and throws a beautiful deep ball. He proved early in his career to have a great deep touch, connecting with now Oklahoma wide receiver Jalen Saunders on several 'GO' routes. Carr’s a very potent player in red area, displaying a very good rapport with his star wide receiver Davonte Adams on the vaunted fade route. He is very accurate on the move, especially when rolling to his right. Fresno State’s offense revolves around its quarterback, and he keeps delivering week after week.
Fresno State has started the season 2-0 and looks poised for a BIG season from its quarterback. Carr has completed 72% of his passes and has already thrown eight touchdowns, with just one interception. He had a breakout game to open the season against Rutgers. He led the team on a clutch game-tying drive, and then won the game in OT with another TD pass -- his fifth of the night. Carr is on pace to shatter all of Fresno State's career passing records.
WHAT NFL SCOUTS WANT TO SEE IN 2013: For Carr to play calm and collected within the pocket is key, especially against teams like Boise State. The arm and production are not in question, it’s his willingness to look down the gun barrel and throw strikes when the heat's coming. Scouts are already buzzing out West about the senior quarterback, and it’s looking more and more like he’ll be a first day prospect come May.
-- John Middlekauff, Senior Bowl West Coast Scout/Correspondent
Rutgers (2013), Boise St. (2012)