Derek Carr has survived yet another offseason ripe with quarterback rumors getting linked to the Las Vegas Raiders. He’s coming off his best season and keeps getting better under Jon Gruden. Though the team has struggled to reach the playoffs with him at the helm, he’s the unquestioned leader of the team.
Carr has a lot of detractors, including many people within the Raiders fan base. However, nobody can deny that he puts in a ton of work. Even when OTAs were canceled last season, the quarterback found a way to practice with teammates in a Las Vegas park. The Raiders are the in midst of OTAs right now and dropped a couple of looks of Carr. He looks absolutely jacked.
NFL quarterbacks aren’t usually judged on their biceps but there’s no doubt that Carr has one of the better physiques in the league. Unfortunately, muscles don’t matter much at the position so the hope will be that he has also been fine-tuning his play on the field.
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Carr a Dark-Horse MVP Candidate
Carr isn’t one of the NFL’s elite quarterbacks but he is a borderline top-10 player at the position. He put up some really strong numbers last season without a true No. 1 wide receiver. If he can get the Raiders into playoff contention in 2021, he could find himself in the MVP conversation. In fact, NFL.com’s Adam Schein listed Carr as a dark-horse MVP candidate.
“Seemingly every year, I’m high on the Raiders,” Schein wrote. “This is not one of those years. BUT, if Las Vegas is going to surprise people, it will be because the team has a great quarterback, whether certain people want to believe that or not.
“I’ll never understand why Carr doesn’t get more love. Last year marked the third straight season in which he eclipsed 4,000 yards passing and 67 percent completions.”
Carr was a legit MVP candidate back in 2016 until he got hurt. He hasn’t reached those heights since but it looks like he could have the tools now.
Carr Needs Young WRs to Step Up
Since Carr joined the Raiders, he hasn’t had an elite No. 1 wide receiver. The best he had was Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper. He had some of his best seasons when throwing to those two. Last year, it looked like he built an excellent rapport with Nelson Agholor. The two made some amazing plays together. Unfortunately for Carr, Agholor signed with the New England Patriots for bigger money.
The Raiders signed John Brown in the offseason but need some of the younger guys to step up. Henry Ruggs was the top wide receiver selected in last year’s draft. He made some splash plays but not consistently. Bryan Edwards was also supposed to be a standout but was nonexistent for most of the year. If the Raiders want their offense to take another leap in 2021, they need the young wide receivers to play at a much higher level.