Why Derek Carr Can Be a Super Sophomore with the Oakland Raiders

The Oakland Raiders have good reason to believe second-year quarterback Derek Carr will become a franchise quarterback, but there are still lingering concerns about his play. The concerns are due in large part to the lack of talent around him in 2014 and normal rookie growing pains.

Skeptics will point to his ultra-low yards per attempt and completion percentage numbers in 2014 as reasons Carr will slump as a sophomore, but there are many more reasons why he’ll be a super sophomore for the Raiders. Vastly improved talent will make a huge difference for Carr, but history is also on his side.

We already know Carr is a leader with a good work ethic that has been around the game for a long time. We also know he has a strong arm, and he’s mobile. He looks the part, but maybe even more so after 599 pass attempts as a rookie.


The Derek Carr Experience

Since 1920, only Andrew Luck has attempted more passes as a rookie than Carr. Luck’s completion percentage was lower, he took 17 more sacks and threw six more interceptions than Carr did his rookie season. He also threw two more touchdowns with more yards per attempt.

Sam Bradford is the only player since 1920 to complete more passes than Carr as a rookie. He finished with a slightly better completion percentage, three fewer touchdowns, three more interceptions and 10 more sacks than Carr did.  

The general idea is that for 599 pass attempts, Carr did just fine. Luck has kept getting better, and injuries derailed Bradford’s career, but he also improved when he was on the field. An overly conservative offensive coordinator and virtually no running game alone adequately explain Carr’s low yards per attempt.

If it didn’t, his performance in the red zone would be tough to explain other than to dismiss it entirely as a small sample. If you think about it, it makes...

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