Surprise! Raiders' Derek Carr Is NFL's Most Accurate Deep Passer

Oakland QB mostly throws short routes in Gruden's West Coast scheme, but when he went deep in 2018 he put more than 52 percent of his passes in catchable spots for receivers

In the Raiders offense under Jon Gruden, quarterback Derek Carr often throws short routes.

In 2018, Carr threw for more than 4,000 yards for the first time in his NFL career, but they came on 381 completions (fifth most in the league) while he ranked 20th in yards per attempt (7.3).

But there is evidence Carr could be a much more dangerous deep-ball passer in 2019.

With the addition of veteran wide receivers Antonio Brown and Tyrell Williams and rookie Hunter Renfrow of Clemson, Carr – if given time by a rebooted offensive line – could have the weapons to better challenge defenses deep.

Plus, even in 2018, Carr showed he’s a very accurate long-ball passer.

This week, the analytic website Pro Football Focus examined the accuracy of every NFL passer by type of routes (0-9 yards, 10-19 yards and 20-plus yards) and found that Carr was the most accurate, putting 52.3 percent of passes on the money in that range.

Wrote Mark Chichester of Pro Football Focus: “The Raiders’ signal caller tops this list no doubt to the surprise of many, but the reality is that Carr has always shown well on his deep pass attempts. After three years of charting the ball placement of every throw of every game, the top-three highest single-season deep-passing accuracy rates belong to Russell Wilson in 2016 (55.6), Derek Carr in 2018 (52.3) and Derek Carr in 2016 (51.1). Now that he’s armed with Antonio Brown and deep-threat Tyrell Williams, Carr could very well reappear on this list this time next year.”

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