Oakland Raiders: David Carr

NAPA, Calif. -- What was the first question Oakland Raiders rookie quarterback Derek Carr had for veterans as time grew short to report for training camp?

“Where do I park when I get there?” Carr sheepishly admitted.

Carr, the Raiders’ second-round draft pick out of Fresno State and QB of the future, found the Napa Valley Marriott Hotel & Spa’s players-only lot on Wednesday -- yes, he drove himself rather than ride the “rookie” bus from Alameda -- and, just like that, his future was kickstarted.

“I’m starting to learn how to be an NFL quarterback,” Carr told a cluster of reporters after checking in. “But I’ve still got a long way to go. So I’m just going to rely on my coaches and the team to help me get through my first camp.”

Carr has first-hand experience, so to speak, what with older brother David spending 11 years in the NFL after the Houston Texans made him the No. 1 overall pick in 2002.

In minicamp, Carr was elevated to second-string on Oakland’s depth chart, ahead of Matt McGloin and behind new starter Matt Schaub.

Ironically, it was Schaub who replaced the elder Carr in Houston and, if all goes according to plan in Oakland, the younger Carr will replace Schaub in the near future.

Schaub has been an accommodating mentor.

“Hopefully, Matt doesn’t get too annoyed at me for asking too many questions,” Carr said with a laugh. “Because I’m going to ask even more now. I’m going to try and pick his brain as much as I can.”
Looking for two of the newest Oakland Raiders who are primed to make the biggest impact for their new team in 2014?

Then look no further than the Raiders’ offensive backfield.

According to ESPN Stats & Info, quarterback Matt Schaub, who spent the previous seven seasons with the Houston Texans, and running back Maurice Jones-Drew, who was with the Jacksonville Jaguars since 2006, are the top such candidates.

Schaub, you could say, has nowhere to go but up after a nightmarish 2013 in which he went 2-6 as the Texans’ starter, though he has never had back-to-back losing seasons since taking over for David Carr in Houston in 2007.

Also, Schaub threw more interceptions (14) than touchdown passes (10) last season for the first time since he was with the Atlanta Falcons in 2006. His total quarterback rating of 23.4 in the fourth quarter in 2013 ranked 33rd out of 38 qualifying QBs.

As far as Jones-Drew is concerned, sure, he still has to win the job from Darren McFadden, but his bowling ball build and running style -- his 2.05 yards-after-contact per rush since 2011 is sixth in the NFL -- fits what the Raiders are trying to accomplish.

In fact, Rashad Jennings, who had a 2.20 YAC per rush average last season, was the only Oakland running back to average at least 2.0 YAC since 2010.

What does Jones-Drew have to prove and, thus, improve upon?

His 3.4 yards-per-carry average last season was a career low, almost a yard less than his previous nadir of 4.2 yards, in 2008.

He has also missed 11 games over the past two seasons due to injury, this after missing just three games total in his first six NFL seasons.

Still, Jones-Drew’s 68 rushing touchdowns and 8,071 rushing yards rank third and fourth, respectively, in the NFL since 2006, when he came into the league as a second-round draft pick out of UCLA.
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Matt Schaub replaced David Carr as the Houston Texans' quarterback and, if all goes according to the Oakland Raiders' plan, Derek Carr will end Schaub's run with the Raiders.

Funny how things work out, even if it might take a few years to come to fruition.

Because make no mistake about it, the Raiders acquired Schaub this offseason to be their franchise quarterback for the now, and they drafted Carr to be their franchise quarterback of the future.

"Matt Schaub is our starting quarterback," Raiders coach Dennis Allen said last week at the team's rookie minicamp. "We feel very good about that. I've said this before -- he's been a top 10 quarterback in this league and he's performed at a very high level.

[+] EnlargeSchaub
AP Photo/Ben MargotMatt Schaub reached out to his heir apparent, Derek Carr, after he was drafted, telling Carr, "Whatever you need, I'm here to help you."
“But yeah, we like Derek Carr, and we're going to let him go out and compete and see how things work out. You can't have enough good quarterbacks in this league. You never know when injuries are going to occur, and you've got to be prepared for that, so when you have an opportunity to get a guy like Derek Carr that you feel good about, you go and get him."

One of the first messages Carr received after the Raiders used their second-round pick (No. 36 overall) on the record-setting Fresno State signal-caller came from Schaub himself.

"He just said he's here to help me with whatever I needed," Carr said. "He said, 'Hey, man, I know you have your brother, who has played 13 years ... [but] we're teammates. I'm here for you every day. Whatever you need, I'm here to help you.'

"That meant a lot."

At Fresno State, Carr was the BMOC in throwing for 5,083 yards last season, on 68.9 percent passing, with 50 touchdowns and eight interceptions. In Oakland, he is a rookie biding his time, albeit with a serious pedigree. He was breaking down NFL tape with older brother David when he was 12 years old.

But that doesn't mean Carr, who will continue to wear the No. 4 he wore in Fresno in honor of Brett Favre, is being brash or outspoken ... yet.

"I'm just trying to encourage guys," Carr said. "This is a stressful environment. You're in the NFL. There's a lot of guys out here just trying to make the team. All of us, we're trying to make the team and trying to prove ourselves and these things. I'm just here to encourage guys, try to make it easy on them.

"If a guy dropped the ball, tell them, 'Great route,' those kinds of things. That's something I've done since I've been little. That's how I was brought up. I just try to encourage people."

Besides, Carr has his own things to work on as a newbie. He fumbled his first snap as a pro under center in Friday's practice.

"The main thing is throwing it to the right spot," he said. "There's so much that goes into one play, more so at this level than college or high school. I can't believe it. It's been fun to learn. It's something I enjoy. Absolutely I threw it to the right spot and again I have a lot to work on. I'm learning ... hopefully, there's a lot more after this."
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Minutes after selecting Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack with the fifth pick of the 2014 NFL draft, Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie was asked if he thought his quarterback of the future might still be available.

Mind you, this was when Blake Bortles had been the only quarterback taken.

“Yes,” McKenzie said softly, “there’s an opportunity for that. Yes.”

[+] EnlargeDerek Carr
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty ImagesDerek Carr passed for 5,082 yards with 50 TDs and eight interceptions in 13 starts last season.
So by the time the dust cleared on the first round Thursday night, Bortles, who was taken third overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars, was joined by Johnny Manziel, who fell to 22nd and the Cleveland Browns, and Teddy Bridgewater, who went 32nd in the final pick of the night to the Minnesota Vikings, who traded up to get him.

Might Fresno State’s Derek Carr, who has long been linked to the Raiders, still be on the docket when Oakland is scheduled to make the fourth pick of the night, No. 36 overall, or will the Houston Texans, who badly need a quarterback and lead off the second round, make it a family affair by drafting the younger brother of the man they made the first overall pick in 2002, David Carr?

From the Raiders’ perspective, it’s no secret they believe they are set with Matt Schaub for at least the next two years, and they even feel comfortable with backups Matt McGloin and Trent Edwards. But the feeling is also they would like to draft a project in the middle rounds, someone like Pittsburgh’s Tom Savage. Currently, the Raiders’ fourth-round pick is at No. 107 overall.

One plausible scenario has the Raiders, who do not have picks in the fifth or sixth rounds but hold three in the seventh, trading back in the second round to acquire more selections, especially if they are not truly in love with a player at No. 4 in the second round today.

McKenzie, though, said “no deal was presented, only interest” for the No. 5 overall pick on Thursday. With it not clear if there will be a market today for the Raiders’ second-rounder, they have options.

Mack certainly addressed a need and was the best player available as well.

So, besides Carr, who passed for 5,082 yards with 50 touchdowns and eight interceptions and completed 68.7 percent of his passes in 13 starts last season, who is a potential target for the Raiders in the second round?

Here is a look at five possible prospects:

USC receiver Marqise Lee was the 2012 Biletnikoff Award winner as a sophomore, but had a down junior year. At just under 6-foot and 192 pounds, there are questions about his durability, but he is a playmaker after the catch.

Alabama offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio is massive at 6-7, 321 pounds, but there are concerns about his surgically repaied knee. He is considered an ideal fit to work in a power-blocking scheme.

Minnesota defensive tackle Ra'Shede Hageman is a disruptive if inconsistent force at a tick under 6-6 and 310 pounds. His athleticism might force a move to defensive end.

Utah cornerback Keith McGill is big at 6-3, 213 pounds, and his long arms make him an ideal fit for press coverage. Still, he only had one interception in two seasons for the Utes.

Nebraska cornerback Stanley Jean-Baptiste is also big for the position at 6-3, 218 pounds and had seven interceptions in 19 starts for the Cornhuskers.

Raiders add WR Holmes to roster

October, 7, 2013
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- The Raiders’ big roster move Monday, obviously, was the team releasing quarterback Matt Flynn and his $6.5 million payday.

But Oakland also activated receiver Andre Holmes off the exempt list after he served a four-game suspension for a failed PED test. The 6-foot-4, 210-pound Holmes had a team-high seven catches, for 86 yards, in the preseason after being claimed off waivers from New England on May 13.

The Raiders also waived offensive lineman Jack Cornell, who was signed off the practice squad on Saturday. The move leaves open a roster spot, presumably for another quarterback. David Carr and Pat White are both set to visit the Raiders on Tuesday.