Raiders News: Derek Carr Praises Jordy Nelson, 'Can't Believe' Packers Cut WR

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJuly 29, 2018

Oakland Raiders wide receiver Jordy Nelson catches a pass at the team's football facility in Alameda, Calif., Tuesday, April 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

Jordy Nelson may be coming off a disappointing 2017 season, but Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr is confident the 2014 Pro Bowler hasn't lost a step.

"I can tell you, he's one of the fastest skill guys that we have still. He can run," Carr said of Nelson, per the East Bay Times' Matt Schneidman. "You see that by his route running. If he can win on underneath routes, that means DBs are scared about what he can do over the top. He's still Jordy Nelson, that's for sure."

Carr added he "can't believe Green Bay let [Nelson] go."

Nelson had 1,257 yards and an NFL-high 14 touchdowns in 2016. Last year, he caught 53 passes for 482 yards and six touchdowns. Most concerning, he was 103rd in yards per reception (9.1) among qualified players.

Nelson ranked 40th in Bleacher Report's NFL1000 year-end rankingsMarcus Mosher and Joe Goodberry questioned whether he was starting to show his age: "He just doesn't have the quickness to explode out of his breaks, and defensive backs are afraid of his speed. Nelson turns 33 this offseason, and it wouldn't be surprising if the Packers decide to move on from him. Nelson might have to transition to the slot if he wants to continue his career."

The Raiders took a relatively big bet on Nelson. Oakland released Michael Crabtree, with Nelson and Martavis Bryant the most notable additions to the passing game. Nelson will clearly start the year as the No. 2 target behind Amari Cooper.

Carr was a Pro Bowler for the third year in a row in 2017, but his numbers were down across the board compared to 2016. His completion percentage fell from 63.8 to 62.7, while his passer rating dropped slightly from 96.7 to 86.4.

Should Carr's confidence in Nelson ultimately be misplaced, it could be another underwhelming season for the 2014 second-round pick, who's entering the first year of his five-year, $125 million extension. 

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