It was a roller-coaster second half of the season for Derek Carr, as he saw his high first-round draft stock plummet following a disappointing performance in a loss at the Las Vegas Bowl.
He showed well at the scouting combine, running one of the fastest 40-yard times among quarterbacks at 4.69 seconds. He chose to wait until Fresno State's pro day on March 20 to throw.
Doubters of Carr cannot deny his phenomenal statistics as a senior. Throwing for 5,082 yards and 50 touchdowns, while also winning back-to-back Mountain West Conference MVP awards, cannot be ignored.
This three-time team captain has fast feet to evade the blitz, can move in the pocket and can accurately throw on the run or standing still. A strong arm, quick release, maturity and command of the huddle all point to a leader of men who could grow into a solid NFL starter in time.
Carr's game is not without its flaws. The Bulldog nails short-to-intermediate throws but isn't always the most accurate deep-ball hurler. He sometimes throws off-balance unnecessarily and looked flustered when pressured by USC in this year's bowl game.
However, he has a knack for putting his throws where only his receivers can get to them, and that limits turnovers when accuracy is an issue. At 6'2" he doesn't possess great size, but his mobility should negate any problems that arise due to blocked sight lines.
His older brother David was a first overall pick in 2002 by Houston and was a bust. That should have nothing to do with a team's decision (or fan perception) on what Derek can do.
He is a student of the game with the tools to succeed in the NFL. He would be best served to sit behind Brian Hoyer and develop throughout 2014.