Gruden's QB camp: Derek Carr

April, 28, 2014
Apr 28
1:42
PM ET
Derek Carr is coming off one of the most productive seasons in FBS history, having thrown for 5,082 yards and a touchdown-interception ratio of 50-8. He has a chance to be the second in his family to be chosen in the first round of the NFL draft: His brother, David Carr, was the top overall pick in 2002. Derek is projected to be a first-round pick according to ESPN analyst Mel Kiper’s most recent mock draft.

Carr will get his turn with Jon Gruden in "Jon Gruden's QB Camp" series on Monday at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

Key strength: Production
Last season, Carr became the fifth FBS quarterback to throw for 50 touchdowns in one season and the 13th to throw for 5,000 yards. He completed 453 passes, most by any FBS quarterback since Case Keenum in 2009.

While Fresno State’s spread offense certainly helped pad his stats, Carr also showed the ability to throw the ball downfield. He completed 39 passes that traveled at least 20 yards in the air, more than all but two BCS-AQ (automatic qualifying) quarterbacks.

He rarely turned the ball over, finishing his career with a 113-24 touchdown-interception ratio. He ranked in the top 10 in interception percentage each of the past two seasons and did not lose a fumble last season.

Something to prove: Acclimating to the next level
Carr will face major adjustments in the NFL given the change of offensive system and the improved strength of opponents.

Although Carr’s first year as a starter, in 2011, was under a pro-style coach (Pat Hill), most of his numbers the last two seasons were built off a screen-heavy spread offense that operated almost exclusively out of the shotgun.

Last season, 21.7 percent of Carr’s passes were screen passes. To put that in context, Carr’s 143 screen passes were 36 more than Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater threw in his three-year career.

Fresno State faced the 113th-ranked schedule in FBS last season. Eleven of its 13 opponents ranked outside the top 60 in defensive efficiency.

Carr faced USC in his final collegiate game, a team that ranked 11th in defensive efficiency. He struggled to complete anything but screen passes, connecting on 4 of 18 passes 10 or more yards down the field.

Cause for concern: Facing an NFL pass rush
Fresno State’s screen-heavy offense helped Carr lead the nation in another statistic -- sack percentage. He was sacked on 1.6 percent of pass plays, fewest among qualified FBS quarterbacks.

Although Carr rarely had to face pressure last season, he did not perform well against it. He completed less than 31 percent of his passes when hurried or knocked down and averaged 3.5 yards per attempt. Both are the worst among the top 10 draft-eligible FBS quarterbacks, according to Scouts Inc.

Carr’s completion percentage was 59.9 percent against the blitz, 11.3 percentage points worse than when opponents did not blitz. He struggled to move the ball downfield against extra pass-rushers, averaging 6.8 yards per attempt. That is nearly a full yard less than any other top-10 quarterback.
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NFL, Derek Carr

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