NFL Coach: Knock on Raiders' Derek Carr Is 'He Lacks a Little Toughness at Times'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVJuly 11, 2022

HENDERSON, NEVADA - JUNE 07: Quarterback Derek Carr #4 of the Las Vegas Raiders speaks during a news conference after the first day of mandatory minicamp at the Las Vegas Raiders Headquarters/Intermountain Healthcare Performance Center on June 07, 2022 in Henderson, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr didn't rank among the top 10 quarterbacks in the NFL in a survey of league executives, coaches, scouts and players compiled by ESPN's Jeremy Fowler.

While Carr was an honorable mention, an NFL offensive coach criticized his toughness.

"His film was really good," the coach told Fowler. "The guy was one of the best third-down passers in the NFL last year. He lacks a little toughness at times; that's my only real knock on him. Won't stand in there."

All three of the other starting quarterbacks in the AFC West ranked above Carr on ESPN's list: Kansas City's Patrick Mahomes (No. 2), Los Angeles Chargers starter Justin Herbert (No. 7) and new Denver Broncos signal-caller Russell Wilson (No. 8).

Still, the Raiders earned a playoff berth behind Carr last season. The 31-year-old threw for 4,804 yards, 23 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in the 2021 campaign, completing 68.4 percent of his passes while leading the team to a 10-7 record and a wild-card berth.

While Carr is a three-time Pro Bowler, he earned those honors from 2015 to 2017. Some questioned whether he was the right man to lead the Raiders back into contention, though last year's playoff berth—combined with the three-year, $121.5 million extension he signed in April—seemed to put an end to any concerns.

Certainly, there aren't many concerns with his passing ability.

"Early in his career, I would say he had trouble driving the ball vertically, but that doesn't appear to be an issue anymore," an NFC coach told Fowler. "He can hit all parts of the field and looks in command."

Carr will also get a major upgrade at wide receiver with Davante Adams in the fold after a blockbuster trade with the Green Bay Packers. Adams will be the best wideout Carr has ever played with on the Raiders, trumping former teammates like Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree.

The trio of Adams, tight end Darren Waller and slot receiver Hunter Renfrow—combined with Josh Jacobs and Kenyan Drake in the backfield—has given Las Vegas an exciting array of weapons. Expectations are high for Carr and the Raiders in 2022, even in arguably the toughest division in football.