While many can be lukewarm on Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, the folks at Pro Football Talk really don’t like to give him the benefit of the doubt. In fact, former Jon Gruden quarterback Chris Simms ranked Carr low in his quarterback rankings last year and he did it again this year. Based on Simms’ rankings, Carr is the 19th best quarterback in the NFL.
His what Simms’ co-host Mike Florio had to say about Carr:
Carr is the one franchise quarterback whose franchise is most ambivalent about him. From coach Jon Gruden seemingly tiptoeing around a thin-skinned signal-caller with an itchy Twitter block finger to G.M. Mike Mayock repeatedly saying publicly that the Raiders are constantly looking to upgrade at every position including starting quarterback, there’s a sense that Gruden and Mayock aren’t truly all in with the quarterback they inherited, and that they’re biding their time until someone better comes along.
The most questionable thing about Simms’ rankings is that he had Philip Rivers ranked ahead of Carr. Not only did the Raiders quarterback have better stats than Rivers, but he also won more games. Young quarterbacks like Kyler Murray and Josh Allen were also been ranked ahead of Carr which seems questionable.
Raiders QB Receives High Ranking Elsewhere
There are those who want to act like Carr isn’t a top-15 quarterback in the NFL, but the stats don’t back up that notion. In Bleacher Report’s ranking of quarterback situations, the Raiders were ranked to have the 11the best:
Last season, Derek Carr excelled statistically for the Las Vegas Raiders, completing 70.4 percent of his passes for 4,054 yards, 21 touchdowns and just eight picks on a gaudy 7.9 yards per attempt. He also quietly sat on three game-winning drives and a 10th-ranked 62.2 QBR, yet went just 7-9.
Not only is Bleacher Report pretty high on Carr, so is the analytics website Pro Football Focus. According to them, he had the ninth-best WAR of any quarterback in the NFL last season. He’s not among the best quarterbacks in the NFL, but he’s definitely not as bad as some would like to believe.
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Carr Needs to Get to Playoffs to Earn Respect
Carr has a couple of things he needs to do if he’s going to change the narrative about him: He needs to make more big plays and he needs to get the Raiders to the playoffs. At the end of the day, nobody cares about his high completion percentage when he’s only led the team to a winning record once. Now, Carr should not be the only one blamed for the team’s struggles. However, quarterbacks will always get the majority of the criticism when their team isn’t winning.
While the Raiders haven’t always surrounded him with the best talent, he’s going to have a lot of weapons in 2020. There’s no reason he shouldn’t be ready to put career numbers. The team used a first-round pick on wide receiver Henry Ruggs, invested heavily in the offensive line and has already given Carr a great tight end and running back. He’s going to have the most talent he’s had since 2016. Don’t be surprised if he changes a lot of minds this season.