Derek Carr Is 'One of the Top QBs in the NFL,' Raiders GM Mike Mayock Says

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMarch 3, 2021

Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) runs with the football and looks to pass against the Denver Broncos during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Jan.. 3, 2021, in Denver. (AP Photo/Justin Edmonds)
Justin Edmonds/Associated Press

Las Vegas Raiders general manager Mike Mayock called Derek Carr "one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL" during a Zoom conference with reporters Wednesday:

"I think Derek Carr had his best year yet, under [Raiders head coach Jon Gruden]. I think he's one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL, and we couldn't be happier with him. And I tell you every year -- we evaluate every position every year. I have no idea who might call me [for a trade] or who might not call me. So, you have to do the evaluations, both on your own players and every other player in the league. And you've got to stack your boards and understand what league value is all around the league, and we do that. 

"But if you're asking me [specifically] about Derek, I think Jon and I would both stand shoulder to shoulder and pound the table for Derek Carr."

Carr's seventh season as the Raiders' starting quarterback ended with him completing 67.3 percent of his passes for 27 touchdowns and just nine interceptions. His 4,103 passing yards and 8.2 adjusted yards per pass attempt were both career highs.

Football Outsiders ranked Carr seventh among all qualified quarterbacks in DYAR (defense-adjusted yards above replacement) and ninth in DVOA (defense-adjusted value over average). Las Vegas' passing offense was also ninth in DVOA.

Mayock's remarks came roughly a week after Mark Rodgers, the agent of Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, told ESPN's Adam Schefter that his client would be open to joining the Raiders, Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys or New Orleans Saints if the 'Hawks ultimately dealt him.

However, Carr appears to have support of more than Mayock within the Raiders organization.

"I have all the belief in the world in Derek Carr," Pro Bowl tight end Darren Waller said on NFL Network's Good Morning Football"I have ever since I got here. I still do to this day. I think he's a guy that can take us everywhere we want to go."

Waller was a big reason why the Raiders offense excelled in 2020, as he snagged 107 passes for 1,196 yards and nine touchdowns.

Fullback Alec Ingold also gave his two cents to Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

"When you have a quarterback like Derek and a leader like Derek and a guy that puts us in the right situation to win ballgames like Derek does, it’s tough to keep reading about how he's on the way out and how someone else is coming in," Ingold said.

The Raiders offense finished top 10 in scoring, but the defense allowed the third-most points per game. Las Vegas has talent on that end, including Maxx Crosby (17 sacks in two seasons) and safety Johnathan Abram (team-high 86 tackles last year).

However, the Raiders allowed 24 or more points in 14 of their 16 games, torpedoing a promising season that started with the team going 6-3 before a 2-5 finish. Defensive coordinator Paul Guenther was also relieved of his duties before the campaign ended.

The offense figures to have the fewest problems right now. If the Raiders shore up their defense and Carr is able to duplicate (or improve upon) his performance from last year, then Las Vegas would be in great shape to break a four-season streak outside of the playoffs.