The Oakland Raiders continued their impressive draft by bringing in one of the top quarterbacks in the class in Derek Carr.
This selection came in the second round after the squad selected elite linebacker prospect Khalil Mack at No. 5. While the squad needed to take a quarterback at some point to develop for the future, the Raiders were patient enough to wait for the one they wanted.
Fortunately, Carr appears to be exactly who the squad wanted all along, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com:
Rich Eisen of NFL Network was complimentary of the first couple of rounds for the Raiders:
The question is how well the quarterback will fare at the next level.
On the positive side, he has a strong arm and a quick release while showing the ability to move the ball all over the field. These skills helped him lead the nation with 5,082 passing yards and 50 touchdowns last season.
Was this a smart pick for the Oakland Raiders?
With time to develop, he has all the tools necessary to become an above-average quarterback in the NFL.
He has also shown a willingness to work with the mental makeup to improve. According to Jerry McDonald of the Contra Costa Times, Carr explained at the combine, "I've been getting ready for this since I was 3. I've been trained by my dad and my brother. I've been watching NFL film since I was 12. I'm not 6-6 and won't run a 4.3 (40-yard dash), but I'll out-prepare anybody."
All of these tools help make him the "safest pick out of all the quarterbacks in the draft," according to Bleacher Report's Chris Simms:
The only downside is that Carr will likely need some time before he can succeed in the NFL. Not only is he shifting from a spread offense to a pro-style system, but he is attempting to transition from playing in the Mountain West to the NFL. That is a huge jump for anyone.
Instead, the quarterback can use the first few weeks and possibly all next season to learn the Raiders' system while growing as a passer before truly being expected to contribute at this level.
Of course, this is just fine for Oakland, which found its 2014 starting quarterback earlier in the offseason, as noted by Andrew Brandt of ESPN:
Derek Carr won't be rushed to play anytime soon for @RAIDERS. Matt Schaub is making a fully guaranteed $8 million salary this year.— Andrew Brandt (@adbrandt) May 9, 2014
Head coach Dennis Allen explained when he traded for Matt Schaub that this was the team's new starter, via Marc Sessler of NFL.com:
We brought Matt Schaub in to be our starting quarterback. We feel very confident that he is going to be able to come in and function in that role and be outstanding for us. Obviously, we love having competition within the team, but right now Matt Schaub is our starting quarterback.
While Carr has plenty of potential, he will not change this game plan heading into Week 1. Schaub will be the starter and he will do his best to help the team win.
This is even better for the rookie considering the Raiders had the No. 29 offensive line in the NFL last season, according to Khaled Elsayed of Pro Football Focus. He can avoid a lot of punishment by waiting on the bench until this unit improves.
In his rookie season, Carr will get a little bit of playing time as the Raiders will try to see what they have in the future, but it is unlikely this comes before the end of the year. At this point, you can expect the player to make plenty of mistakes while only showing some signs of brilliance.
Raiders fans should not expect the world in the quarterback's first year, but they should be excited for the future.
Rookie season projections: Three starts; 872 passing yards, four touchdowns, five interceptions; 62 percent completion rate
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