Considering Carr as a Titans QB candidate

May, 3, 2014
May 3
11:03
AM ET
Do the Titans like Derek Carr as much as any quarterback in the draft?

Carr
We don’t know if they’ll draft one, and if they do how high, but Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean has reported they appear to like Fresno State’s Carr. I’ve since heard the same.

I can’t envision them taking Carr or any quarterback at No. 11, but it’s possible they’d move back for him or that they’d grab him in the second round, 42nd overall, if he was still on the board when their second-round pick comes around.

Much has been written about Carr recently, and I wanted to plug you into it.

First, Seth Wickersham has a great piece on Carr’s connection to his brother David, the first pick in the 2002 draft by the Houston Texans.

The older brother has been helping get Derek Carr ready for NFL life.

“…[T]here's an ineffable tension between David's desire to control the future and Derek's willingness to overcome the unknowable,” Wickersham writes.

Derek Carr’s power as a prospect is hindered, at least to some, by his DNA. Even as his brother had so little protection with the Texans and was sacked so much he never had a chance.
“On one hand, [Derek Carr’s] 50 touchdown passes and only eight interceptions last season suggests that he has all the tools to be a franchise quarterback; Browns coach Mike Pettine calls him the "best natural thrower in the draft." But then there are the issues: Below-average poise and toughness within the pocket; will anticipate pressure and look to protect his frame instead of sitting in and delivering the ball.”

Kevin Seifert of ESPN.com looked at all sort of key college numbers on the top quarterback prospects. Carr’s quick throws could lead to great red zone success – inside the 20-yard line he hit on 62.3 percent of his throws for 31 touchdowns and just two picks.

But…

“Carr did not react well when under pressure, completing just 30.9 percent of his passes in those situations, the lowest among all 10 quarterbacks in this group. He also had this group's worst completion percentage (43.9) when outside the pocket.”

KC Joyner looked at red flags on some prospects and also took issue with Carr’s completion percentage when under duress.

“Last year, the leaguewide completion percentage when under duress was 41.5 percent, and only three quarterbacks had a duress completion percentage lower than Carr's collegiate total. If Carr wasn't able to hold up well against a strong pass rush against a lower level of competition, it stands to reason he might not fare well in that metric at the pro level.”

His college play under duress and his ability to get to a second or third read are issues to several people whose scouting opinions I trust. Maybe coach Ken Whisenhunt and quarterback coach John McNulty can help Carr develop in those areas if he lands in Tennessee.

I'm wary.

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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