In a draft teeming with intriguing quarterback prospects, the Oakland Raiders’ selection of Derek Carr in the second round garnered little attention.
Carr possesses many of the tools seemingly necessary to develop into a solid professional quarterback. He has a powerful arm and routinely slotted balls in between tight coverage at Fresno State, where he broke numerous school passing records. And at 6’2", 214 pounds, he’s built like a prototypical NFL signal-caller.
Having these qualities typically bolsters young quarterbacks’ stock. But many teams were scared away from Carr precisely because of said skills.
His last name.
Carr’s scouting report almost mirrors that of his older brother, David Carr, from more than a decade ago. After being selected with the first overall pick in the 2002 NFL draft by the Houston Texans, chronic injuries and inconsistency stymied Carr’s career growth.
So, does this mean that Derek Carr is destined to follow in his brother’s footsteps and lead a remarkably uneventful NFL career?
As detailed in this ESPN The Magazine story, Carr’s older brother was instrumental in his predraft preparation and is sure to be a mentor in his professional career. With his older brother in his ear at all times, Carr won’t fall victim to the same maladies that plagued David.
In fact, David wants to be as close to Derek as possible. He wants to be his backup.
David Carr's ideal situation is signing with #NFL team that drafts younger brother, Derek, and backing him up. Both are comfortable with it.— Brian T. Smith (@ChronBrianSmith) March 6, 2014
The Raiders haven't signed the elder Carr, but it was a good idea. Instead of hiring a professional to help him train for the draft, Derek Carr moved in with his older brother, who helped him train. The brothers go into detail about their training in this video:
Derek Carr also spoke about the differences between he and his brother in this sitdown with Jon Gruden:
For now, Carr is the second-string quarterback behind Matt Schaub, the man who uprooted his brother in Houston. Many think Carr may eventual usurp Schaub, though.
If that time comes, Carr will be forced with engineering an offense that compiled just 208.8 yards per game through the air last season. If given the opportunity, Carr would be tasked with jumpstarting the passing offense, perhaps a challenge for a young quarterback.
Still, Carr wouldn't be facing the same struggles his brother faced. The Raiders actually boasted the league's 12th best rushing offense last year, a testament to a stout offensive line. In his rookie season, David Carr was sacked an astounding 76 times, in many ways stunting his growth from the beginning.
This year, the Raiders may not have as much help in the running game. They added veteran Maurice-Jones Drew in the offense to replace Rashad Jennings, who signed with the New York Giants. Jones' average yards-per-carry plummeted to 3.4 last season. Still, Jones, a eight-year-veteran of the game, could assuredly offer Carr some valuable advice.
Carr’s ascendance to Fresno State glory and subsequent drafting into the NFL is the family's second shot at producing a star quarterback. Physically, everything appears the same—Derek’s skill set and body type strikingly analogous to his brother.
Except this time, Derek and David Carr are working together. David’s fruitless legacy is omnipresent, a humbling forewarning.