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Raiders QB Derek Carr treading in Dan Marino territory

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Carr reminds many of Favre, statistically closer to Marino (1:13)

NFL Nation reporter Paul Gutierrez says Derek Carr's early career success reminds him of when the Raiders whiffed on drafting Dan Marino. (1:13)

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Yes, Dan Marino shoulda, woulda, coulda been a Raider had the team used the No. 26 overall draft pick on the future Hall of Famer back in 1983, rather than selecting offensive lineman Don Mosebar.

And while Mosebar had a fine enough career for the Raiders -- three Pro Bowl appearances at center while not missing a game in the final five seasons of his 12-year career -- Marino obliterated records and went to the Hall of Fame for the Miami Dolphins. Plus, Marino's 68 touchdown passes in the first two years of his career are still the NFL's standard.

And this is where the Oakland Raiders come back into the picture -- only Marino has thrown more TD passes in the first two years of a career than the Raiders' Derek Carr, who has 53 TDs.

And it keeps going ...

Carr, who had 21 touchdown passes as a rookie in 2014 and followed that up with 32 last season, surpassed the initial two-year totals of Peyton Manning and Russell Wilson, both of whom threw 52 TDs in their respective first two seasons.

Beyond that, ESPN Stats & Information found that through two NFL seasons, Carr ranks first in completions (698), second in pass attempts (1,172) to Andrew Luck and sixth in passing yards (7,257).

Yes, Carr has more completions in his first two NFL seasons than Marino had in his first two seasons (535) ... for what it's worth.

Because remember, John Elway, Todd Blackledge, Jim Kelly, Tony Eason and Ken O'Brien had already been drafted before the Raiders -- who already had Jim Plunkett and Marc Wilson on the roster -- got on the clock on April 26, 1983.

"If Al Davis had not been in the trial with the NFL and had spent the time he usually spent on the draft, Dan Marino might have been a Raider," Marvin Demoff, Marino's agent, said in an ESPN 30 for 30 special recounting the 1983 NFL draft. "Al liked to throw the ball down the field; Marino could throw the ball down the field. Al liked charismatic quarterbacks; he was a charismatic quarterback. Al liked confidence; nobody had more than Dan."

Still, there were persistent drug rumors dogging Pitt product Marino, which many attributed to his draft stock dropping so precipitously.

And Marino was not even on the then-Los Angeles Raiders' draft board.

"Boy, that's a bad deal that he wasn't in there," Ron Wolf, then the Raiders' director of player personnel, said on that same special. "He wasn't in [our draft board] because we had all these rumors coming in. It was bogus. None of it was true. [We] made a bad, bad mistake in relationship to Marino."

Wolf also had a special name for the guy the Raiders drafted instead of Marino.

"To this day I call him 'Dan, Dan Mosebar,'" Wolf said of the USC product. "Because [we] blew [it on] Marino. And he knows that."

Still, you have to wonder if, had the Raiders pulled the trigger on Marino, would Davis have insisted on playing Marino right away in 1983 and maybe costing them a chance at winning Super Bowl XVIII that season? Or maybe the tradeoff would have been more Lombardi Trophies in future years.

Consider: while Marino never won a Super Bowl, falling to the San Francisco 49ers in his second season, he was a model of consistency for the Dolphins as, from 1984 through 1999, only six other players besides Marino combined to start a total of 24 games at quarterback for Miami -- Kyle Mackey, Scott Mitchell, Steve DeBerg, Bernie Kosar, Craig Erickson and Damon Huard. The Raiders, meanwhile, had 13 different starting quarterbacks in that same time frame -- Plunkett, Wilson, Rusty Hilger, Vince Evans, Steve Beuerlein, Jay Schroeder, Todd Marinovich, Jeff Hostetler, Billy Joe Hobert, Jeff George, Donald Hollas, Wade Wilson and Rich Gannon.

That takes us through the Reagan, Bush and Clinton administrations.

How about another intriguing Marino-Raiders connection. Marino made his NFL debut against the Raiders as he came in for David Woodley on Monday Night Football at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Sept. 19, 1983. The first two of his then-NFL record 420 career touchdown passes came that night, to Joe Rose and Mark Duper, in the Raiders' 27-14 victory.

In 10 career starts against the Raiders, Marino was 5-5 while passing for 2,356 yards, 18 touchdowns and 11 interceptions and had a passer rating of 81.5.

Carr, while making us research Marino due to his early-career passing proficiency, also reminds us of this -- he is seemingly the franchise QB the Raiders have been searching for since (drum roll, please) ... Gannon.