Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
With the release of Mel Kiper Jr.’s latest 2014 NFL Mock Draft, the Arizona Cardinals are slated to select quarterback Derek Carr out of Fresno State.
The NFL Draft is three weeks away and speculation is running rampant throughout the league of who will be drafted where. While the Cardinals may have an idea about whom they would like to select with the 20th pick in the draft, so much is predicated on who is chosen ahead of their mid-round selection.
Multitudes of platforms exist to quantify when players will be drafted, but there is no exact science. Ahead of last year’s Draft, Ryan Nassib, the quarterback out of Syracuse University was a perennial top-10 selection. He fell all the way to the fourth round before the New York Giants mercifully selected him.
Because Kiper Jr. is ESPN’s go-to analyst in these types of situations, his word may hold a bit more merit. Not simply listing off the best players in order, he attempted to fill a void that each squad possesses. For the Cardinals, he did select Derek Carr, but also noted their need/desire for a wide receiver or right tackle.
So, who is this Derek Carr? Carr is a 23-year-old out of Bakersfield, California, and his most notable claim to fame may be being related to former first overall pick of the 2002 NFL Draft, David Carr. His brother may have carried around the label “bust” for the entirety of his career for not being a franchise savior in Houston, but has had some tremendous longevity, being on an active roster as recently as eight months ago.
Derek, like his older brother David, attended Fresno State University. The same questions that lingered about his David are now placed squarely on the shoulders of Derek; be it fair or not. In his three years as a starter as a Bulldog at Fresno State, he threw for a remarkable 12,843 yards through the air and 113 touchdowns. Byproduct of an air raid offense or not, those numbers carry some heavy weight behind them.
Each organization handles the Draft process uniquely from one another. This much is obvious: the Cardinals are in need of a quarterback to not only back up Carson Palmer next season, but also for when he eventually retires/gets out of dodge. Other veteran selections can be made in the middle rounds that feature recognizable names such as A.J. McCarron out of Alabama and Aaron Murray out of Georgia.
Carr’s biggest knock is his level of competition. While that is something surely out of his control, it still does loom as a major question that front offices will have when attempting to evaluate his skill set. Recently, Carr has come out as saying, “I believe I’ll be the first quarterback taken.” The quote caused a stir, but realistically, that’s what all prospects should be saying.
As far as Carr actually being the first quarterback taken—that’s a longshot. Then again, heading into last April’s Draft, EJ Manuel was ranked as the sixth best quarterback by the ESPN “experts” and was selected with the 16th overall pick by the Buffalo Bills—the only quarterback to be taken in the first round.
This year’s quarterback class boasts a much deeper (thought to be anyways) contingent. The potential of Carr being there when the Cardinals select is a distinct possibility and would be a logical fit.
What do you think Cardinals fans, would Derek Carr be a wise selection?