Ever since his impressive season in 2016, Derek Carr has taken a lot of heat for not playing up to the same level. Many have suggested the Las Vegas Raiders want to make a change at quarterback, but the team appears to still want to roll with him going forward. The biggest thing working against Carr is that he hasn’t won a lot of games since he entered the NFL and has only led the Raiders to a winning record once.
However, it hasn’t always been his fault when the team loses and Carr actually had a really strong season statistically in 2019. In his quarterback rankings, Conor Orr of Sports Illustrated ranked the Raiders 12th in the NFL for their quarterback situation:
Carr finished sixth behind Lamar Jackson in Football Outsiders’ Defensive Yards Above Replacement metric last year and eighth in QB-DVOA. While there did seem to be a brief flirtation with Tom Brady on Las Vegas’s part, it seems sanity has prevailed. Had Carr been thrust into the market, he would have been a hot commodity despite the saturated QB market.
12th isn’t necessarily the best ranking, but it’s better than others have suggested. There are plenty who wouldn’t rank Carr that high despite his strong numbers on the season. The biggest cure for criticism is winning. If Carr can lead the Raiders to the playoffs while putting up good numbers, a lot of the critics will disappear.
Will Nathan Peterman Make the Roster When Season Starts?
With the addition of Marcus Mariota, Gruden now has a couple of fun projects to work on. Last year, he brought in Nathan Peterman as a player he would like to fix. For those who forgot, Gruden was very high on Peterman when he was entering the NFL, but the quarterback has not played well. It looked like Gruden had worked some magic on him in the preseason as Peterman looked solid. However, he suffered an injury that kept him out for the entire season.
Now, Gruden has Mariota, who is more athletic and has shown much better potential than Peterman. The former Buffalo Bill might stick around for training camp and play in some preseason games, but it’s hard to imagine he has much of a future with the Raiders.
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Mock Draft Has Raiders Selecting Tua Tagovailoa
Based on how free agency played out, it appears Derek Carr will be the Raiders’ starter at quarterback in 2020. However, it remains to be seen what will happen after this season. The team has been linked to a number of prospects who are in the 2020 NFL Draft class. Based on a recent mock draft from Bleacher Report’s Brent Sobleski, the Raiders could land Tua Tagovailoa:
The left-handed gunslinger is an extremely proficient and accurate passer with a lightning-quick release when he’s healthy and on the field. His talent will outweigh trepidation for the Las Vegas Raiders and head coach Jon Gruden, who finally land a franchise-caliber talent to replace Derek Carr.
The former Alabama star was supposed to be the number one pick in the draft before he suffered a nasty injury. There are now mounting concerns about his health that could cause him to fall in the draft. It’s hard to imagine the Raiders will be sold on drafting him if he falls to the 12th pick in the first round and it’s even harder to imagine he’ll actually fall that far.