The Raiders’ rookie quarterback looked very good in his first practices.
He showed off a strong arm, was accurate and had a good presence on the field. He looked like an NFL quarterback.
“Throwing the ball, he’s done a nice job,” said head coach Dennis Allen. “I don’t have any question about his arm strength and accuracy.”
After initial reports of the rookie QB’s good performance, Josh Alper of NBC Sports’ Pro Football Talk noted “he should at least draw consideration” for the starter’s job in training camp.
But, that never happened.
The quarterback was Tyler Wilson, a fourth-round pick from Arkansas, and after he looked very good in the spring of 2013, he quickly faded. Undrafted rookie Matt McGloin surpassed him on the roster, and Wilson found himself on the practice squad. In December, he was claimed by the Tennessee Titans.
So, Raiders fans may be wary of early reports about second-round pick Derek Carr looking good this past weekend in the team’s post-draft rookie camp.
Carr isn’t pegged to be the Raiders’ starter. Oakland traded for veteran Matt Schaub earlier this offseason, and Schaub figures to get every opportunity to play. Barring a Schaub injury, that should give Carr a chance to make a gradual adjustment to pro football in 2014.
But for the three-day rookie camp held this past weekend, Carr – in non-contact drills, in shorts and without pads – reportedly was solid. According to Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle, the Raiders liked Carr’s arm, decision-making and leadership skills. Also, he ran well on several designed bootlegs.
Carr, noted Tafur, was even encouraging to his fellow rookies and trying to be a leader on the field, even while everything is still new to him.
“That’s something I’ve done since I was little and that’s really just how I was brought up,” Carr said.
Allen said he and the Raiders liked what they saw from Carr, but that’s not a surprise. They liked Carr early in the qurterback evaluation process and hoped they’d have a chance to draft him.
“Derek Carr was the guy we thought very highly of going into the draft,” Allen told reporters. “We did a lot of work on the quarterbacks this year, and he was the guy we identified early that we felt good about. We thought he was a first-round talent as a quarterback.”
But looking good in shorts is one thing. Looking good while being pressured is another, so the real evaluations will come in the exhibition games this summer.
The Raiders, and their fans, are hoping Carr’s learning and performance curve is much smoother than Wilson’s a year ago.