One of the first things that pops into people’s heads when talk turns to Derk Carr is his team’s schedule.
I thought Wichita State buried the schedule theory once and for all this past spring after becoming the first team to enter the NCAA men’s basketball tournament undefeated for the first time since 1991.
Don’t get me wrong, having a solid all-around schedule does help but it shouldn’t be what leads your resume. Production should.
And Carr has certainly been productive as a three-year starter for Fresno State. Carr has 25 school records and 21 Mountain West Conference records after capping off a senior campaign where he led the nation in passing yards (5,082) and passing touchdowns (50).
Carr is rated as the seventh-best quarterback in the NFL Draft according to ESPN, but what I like about Carr is how he moves the chains.
Consider that his average third-down percentage was 58 percent last year compared to his percentage on third down with 10 yards or more to go was 66 percent.
Carr’s career record of 24-15 may not look imposing. But then again, Carr wasn’t playing alongside future top NFL picks like quarterbacks that played at LSU, USC, Alabama and Notre Dame — all schools that recruited him. The last Bulldogs player to be taken in the first round was Ryan Mathews in 2010. Carr has started from 2011-2013 and the highest Fresno State player drafted in that span was the fourth round.
Another negative for Carr, fair or unfair, is that Carr’s brother David didn’t exactly have an enjoyable time in the NFL. In a six-year starting span he only tallied a 23-56 record. But a lot of that was because he played behind a sieve of an offensive line which propelled him to lead the league in number of times sacked in a season three times.
Carr says that he most admires Brett Favre because he never quits, which is why he proudly wears a No. 4 jersey. That never-say-die attitude is easy to spot in wins, but I was glad to see it in a loss. With Fresno State down by 18 with 4:46 left in the game to San Jose State this past year, Carr completed 6 of 10 passes and promptly led his Bulldogs to a touchdown and a two-point conversion.
In addition to being able to make all the throws, Carr has shown that he can beat you with his mind, which is exactly what Aaron Rodgers is currently doing for the Packers. The one issue for Carr is that unlike Rodgers, when Carr gets flushed out of pocket, his poise, efficiency and accuracy all take a dip.
But because both of his brothers played in the NFL, Carr understands what he has to do. He has heard his brothers talk endlessly about watching tape and what to look for. He has heard numerous stories about training camp and how a rookie needs to act in order to be respected by the veterans.
So, you can think that Carr is unqualified to be a quality NFL starter because he played in the Mountain West.
But you’d be wrong.
He may not be the dual-threat option that most general managers are now salivating over, but if a team wants a quarterback that will never stop competing while floating completions into tight windows, then Carr is your man.——————
Cory Jennerjohn is from Wisconsin and has been in sports media for over 10 years. To contact Cory e-mail him at jeobs -at- yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter: Cory Jennerjohn