PFF: Tap The Brakes On The Derek Carr Hype

There seems to be a growing consensus among league observers that the Raiders have finally found a quarterback in Derek Carr, recently furthered by an article by Mike Sando in which he culled league observer opinions to place Carr as the league’s 20th best QB. However, PFF says, not so fast, my friend:

There were certainly things to like about Carr’s rookie season, including his performance in Oakland’s 24-13 win over the 49ers, and his effectiveness on intermediate throws throughout the year. But overall, his body of work lagged well behind the rest of the league, and he ranked No. 38 out of 39 qualifying QBs in our grading system (only the Jaguars’ Blake Bortles graded out lower).

Now, neither Sando’s insiders nor PFF are predictive of the future–Carr could buck the early trend of his rookie season, or regress further into it.  But if I had to take a guess as to why Carr is getting more credit than may be warranted, it’s that it seems like Carr is crossing a very low bar of being better than the abomination that has been Raiders’ quarterbacking since Rich Gannon won the 2002 MVP.  For your enjoyment, here’s that abomination in a nutshell:

  • Gannon finally falling off a cliff due to age in 2003.
  • Al Davis repeatedly trying to find the next Jim Plunkett with the likes of Kerry Collins, Aaron Brooks, and Jason Campbell.
  • The Jamarcus Russell era.
  • Trading away the equivalent of nearly an entire draft class to try to solve the position: 1st and 2nd (Carson Palmer), 3rd (Terrelle Pryor), 4th (Tyler Wilson), 5th (Matt Flynn), and 6th (Matt Schaub).

It’s that last bullet point that really needs to be emphasized as far as tapping the brakes on the Raiders in general goes.  Even if Carr dramatically improves from his rookie season, so many resources have been sapped from this franchise around him.  Everyone should be humble as to the Raiders’ outlook.  But of course, humility is not a trait that the average Raiders fan possesses in spades.