Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State

Raiders, Round 2. Before the draft, I projected him to go late in Round 1, but put a 3rd-round grade on him. Split the difference and we get the Raiders in Round 2. He definitely has NFL arm strength, and can make all of the throws. He immediately steps into a roster where he’s obviously the best QB — even over Matt Schaub — and will probably get a starting chance fairly immediately and throwing to some pretty good young talent.

All-Star Games: Senior Bowl.

Positives: Adequate height, bulk, and hand size. Good speed for the position and size. Adequate quickness. Has a quick release, and he throws with good arm strength and above-average velocity. Throws with nice touch and accuracy on short and medium routes. Above-average accuracy and anticipation on timing routes, and hits his receivers in stride. Goes through his progressions at time, and doesn’t lock onto single receivers. Willing to throw the ball away. Seems dedicated, and he put in a lot of after-practice work at the Senior Bowl. Moves well inside the pocket, and he keeps his eyes downfield on the run looking to pass.

Negatives: Comes out of a spread system, and may not be immediately ready for an NFL offense. Poor accuracy on fade routes. On the run, he has below-average accuracy and also makes poor red zone decisions when on the move. Though he has the arm strength to get it deep, his deep accuracy is merely below-average, and he will throw it into coverage on deep patterns. Looks easily rattled by pressure and doesn’t bounce back immediately from mistakes. Suspect pocket sense and he needs to learn to step up in pocket to avoid outside pressure. Locks eyes downfield and doesn’t sense outside rush at all at times. Doesn’t show much escapability, and doesn’t extend plays with his feet. Three-quarter release that drops down to sidearm at times. Though he has good track speed, he has only adequate field speed.

Projection: He has enough skills to be an adequate NFL starting QB, and is worth drafting in the second round of dynasty rookie drafts for teams that have the space for him to sit a year or two. Expect QB3 numbers for a year or so before he settles into the QB2 range.

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