Baker Mayfield & Nick Foles Better Than Derek Carr, Says Analyst

raiders derek carr

Getty Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr.

Former NFL quarterback turned analyst Chris Simms has been in the process of ranking the top 40 quarterbacks in the league. He has yet to finish his countdown as he’s only been announcing a couple a day, but he’s already made some head-turning choices. Most notably, he ranked Oakland Raiders starting quarterback as the 18th best quarterback in the NFL.


Chris Simms' Top 40 QBs: Derek Carr lands at No. 18 | Chris Simms Unbuttoned | NBC SportsChris Simms breaks down Derek Carr's game and explains why Carr has dropped in his QB rankings after an up-and-down first year under Jon Gruden. #NBCSports #ChrisSimmsUnbuttoned #NFL #DerekCarr #JonGruden » Subscribe to NBC Sports: youtube.com/nbcsports » Watch Live Sports on NBCSports.com: nbcsports.com/live NBC Sports Group serves sports fans 24/7 with premier live events, insightful…2019-06-13T21:31:29.000Z

True, Derek Carr is coming off a disappointing year as Simms points out above, but his supporting cast was beyond mediocre and he was in a completely new offense. Carr has had four offensive coordinators in five years of play. Carr’s 2017 season was also lackluster, but he was in a new offense that year, as well. The only time he played in the same offense two years in a row, he was an MVP candidate.

“The last two years have not been great,” Simms said. “And I understand that’s not all on Derek Carr. And last year it’s hard to give an evaluation on him because the team around him was that crappy.”

Simms is willing to acknowledge that Carr hasn’t had the best support the past couple of years. He had a much worse supporting cast than many of the quarterbacks ranked ahead of him. Though, Simms still places blame on Carr.

“The last two years, I know the team, the offense has all been a little dysfunctional,” Simms said. “But Derek Carr’s been dysfunctional along with it.”

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While Simms’ criticisms are somewhat justifiable, what’s most interesting is some of the quarterbacks he ranked ahead of Carr. Browns second-year quarterback Baker Mayfield was ranked one spot ahead of Carr.

“I’ve seen enough from Baker Mayfield to say that he’s better than Derek Carr,” said Simms.


Chris Simms' Top 40 QBs: Baker Mayfield takes No. 17 spot | Chris Simms Unbuttoned | NBC SportsChris Simms breaks down why Browns QB Baker Mayfield deserves the No. 17 spot in his NFL QB rankings. #NBCSports #ChrisSimmsUnbuttoned #NFL #ClevelandBrowns #BakerMayfield » Subscribe to NBC Sports: youtube.com/nbcsports » Watch Live Sports on NBCSports.com: nbcsports.com/live NBC Sports Group serves sports fans 24/7 with premier live events, insightful studio shows, and compelling original programming.…2019-06-13T21:31:27.000Z

The 2018 number one overall pick in the draft was certainly impressive in his rookie season. He lead the Browns to their best season in a long time and put up really good numbers. He also had a better supporting cast than Carr and NFL defenses didn’t have any film on him. Mayfield could certainly continue his strong play in 2019, but it’s happened many times where quarterbacks were way overhyped after their rookie season. Just look at Robert Griffin III and Vince Young, both won rookie of the year during their rookie seasons and both were irrelevant after that. That’s not to say Mayfield will go that route, it’s to say that you should wait until a player has at least two years of experience as a starter before anointing them king.  Mayfield also has a much greater tendency to make negative headlines than Carr ever has, which could work against him in the future. The Browns are a popular pick to make noise in the playoffs for 2019, but time will tell if Mayfield and the team can live up to those lofty expectations. They certainly have the talent for it.

Another head scratcher was Simms’ decision to rank new Jacksonville Jaguar quarterback Nick Foles ahead of Carr and Mayfield. A couple of years ago, Nick Foles lit up the NFL on his way to winning Super Bowl MVP. That was the first time he impressed anyone since his second season in the NFL when he threw 27 touchdowns and just three interceptions. Foles has never started a full season. When he went to the Rams, he flopped horribly and was only named a starter in Philidelphia because of Carson Wentz’s injury problem. Foles has impressed at times, but that’s only been in Philidelphia. He only played in five regular season games last season and two playoff games. He played fine, but not as well as he did in 2017. Foles has never proved that he can play at a high level consistently.


Chris Simms' Top 40 QBs: Nick Foles rolls in at No. 16 | Chris Simms Unbuttoned | NBC SportsChris Simms breaks down why Nick Foles' size gives him an advantage, and why he deserves the No. 16 spot in his NFL QB rankings. #NBCSports #ChrisSimmsUnbuttoned #NFL #NickFoles » Subscribe to NBC Sports: youtube.com/nbcsports » Watch Live Sports on NBCSports.com: nbcsports.com/live NBC Sports Group serves sports fans 24/7 with premier live events, insightful studio…2019-06-13T22:34:31.000Z

 

There’s an argument to be made that Baker Mayfield is a better player than Derek Carr. However, it seems unreasonable to think the Nick Foles can outplay Carr. Carr was ranked the top deep passer in the NFL by Pro Football Focus last season and he threw for over 4,000 passing yards. Foles hasn’t faced too many injuries so the reason he’s never started a full season is because he hasn’t proven that he has the talent. Foles can prove the naysayers wrong by bringing the Jaguars back to the playoffs, but he hasn’t done enough to prove that he’s a top-16 quarterback.

Derek Carr will also have a chance to prove the naysayers wrong. He’s going into his second year in the same offense and has received an influx of talent. Simms acknowledged that he could be off about Carr.

“He could be a riser in a hurry,” Simms said. “He has talent to be in that top 10 conversation. I think the improvements they made on the offensive line, Josh Jacobs at running back … they lost Jared Cook, but you get Tyrell Williams from the Chargers, you get Antonio Brown, they get Trent Brown at right tackle now. I would be shocked if that offense isn’t better and his numbers aren’t better.”

If Carr can make it work with Gruden, it’d certainly be something that Simms, who played for Gruden, could never do.

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