Raiders Have Their QB of the Future in Derek Carr

When it became apparent really isn't important.

It might have been apparent way back in March, when the Raiders were studying quarterbacks in the draft. After witnessing Derek Carr's impressive workout at Fresno State, the Raiders put him first on their quarterback board, ahead of Blake Bortles, Teddy Bridgewater, Johnny Manziel and the rest, according to offensive coordinator Greg Olson. The team valued Carr as a high first-round pick, but it did not value him more than linebacker Khalil Mack. So the Raiders chose Mack with the fifth pick of the first round.

Then, with the fourth pick of the second round, the Raiders jumped.

"All the things we were looking for in a quarterback, we felt he had," Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie said in a post-draft press conference.

It was starting to become apparent in the months between the draft and the start of the regular season. At his first practice of the offseason, Carr was a presence, Olson said, encouraging teammates and showing leadership and maturity in a manner that is uncommon for rookies. Already married for two years and a father, there was nothing about Carr that indicated he was only 23.

They weren't wearing pads or playing with pass rush in May and June, but Carr impressed the coaches with his decision-making, quick delivery and accuracy. He was supposed to be outperformed by Matt Schaub and Matt McGloin, but Olson said Carr consistently graded the highest of the group. Then, in training camp, the somewhat puzzling trend continued.

He started slowly in the preseason and didn't play in the important third game with a rib injury. But in the finale, then-head coach Dennis Allen started Carr against the defending champion Seahawks. In a little more than one quarter against Seahawks starters, Carr threw three touchdown passes and was the primary reason the Raiders won 41-31. That was all Allen needed to see to make a bold move....

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