TSV Scouting Department

Derek Carr

Report Prepared By James MacPherson


Class: Senior
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 215 lbs.
School: Fresno State
  • 2x Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year (2012, 2013)
  • 2x First-team All-Mountain West (2012, 2013)
  • Threw for 5,083 yards & 50 TDs
  • Had four games of five+ passing TDs, no game fewer than two TDs
  • Threw a TD in 33 consecutive games
  • Fresno State all-time leading QB in nearly every statistical category

**Scouting report prepared by QB guru/former Wake Forest star QB James MacPherson

Senior Bowl Notes

  • Carr accepted an invitation to play in the 2014 Senior Bowl in Mobile
  • On Monday, Carr looked like he was the most accurate and had strongest arm as a passer.  He looked pretty good dropping back from under center. He consistently put the ball in nice catchable spots and on time for his receivers on all of the routes.  Completed the 12 yard out route and bang post on time.  He also looks to be a good leader on the field as well whenever he is in with the entire offensive team.  Would like to see him put some more touch on the shorter routes as he threw some bullets to the running backs and tight ends.  He tattooed a tight end who spotted up only 5 yards over the ball.  Need to see his pocket presence a little more this week which was a question mark this season and in the USC game.
  • He looked impressive in all passing drills and making all the right throws and reads.  Smart, understands the reads, is a leader in the field and looks like an NFL quarterback.  However, during Team period, he got a little jittery in the pocket, not setting his feet and wanting to go out of the pocket.  He rolled out instead of being poised, stepping up, sliding and hanging in the pocket to find his receivers.  Questions still exist as to his Pocket presence and Senior Bowl week didn't answer those concerns.
  • Carr finished 7 for 12 for 45 yards and one TD during Saturday's game.

Combine Notes

**Carr, like Johnny Manziel and Teddy Bridgewater, chose to not throw at the Combine.

**Combine measurements

  • 40 yard dash - 4.69 seconds
  • Vertical Jump - 34.5"
  • Broad Jump - 9'2"
  • 20 yard shuttle - 4.20 seconds

**Arm/Hand Measurements

  • Arm length - 31 1/2"
  • Hand size - 9 1/8"


  • Smart and accurate pocket passing Quarterback.
  • Strong arm and can make all the throws.
  • Quick release, and efficient passing motion.
  • Excellent accuracy on short and intermediate routes, can consistently "throw guys open" with tight defensive coverage.
  • Understands coverages, reads, and beating blitzes.
  • Makes good quick decisions and anticipates well throwing the ball before receivers break out of their routes.
  • Understands pass protections and can re-direct Offensive Line and RB to pick up blitzes.
  • Throws with great touch, and can alter his arm angles to throws over and around defenders.
  • Good pocket presence moving, sliding in the pocket and keeping his eyes down field.
  • Toughness, hangs in the pocket to take a hit and deliver pass.  Also played with a sports hernia in 2012.
  • Better than average foot speed, can make plays with his legs outside the pocket.
  • Competitor, plays hard through the end of the game regardless of the score.
  • Outstanding Goalline fade route passer using various trajectories.
  • Consistent footwork and balance on his pass drops.
  • Performed well in tight ball games leading his team to come from behind victories in the 4th Quarter and twice in Overtime.
  • Led his team to an 11-2 record, led the nation in passing yards (5082), Touchdowns (50), and passing per game (394.8) despite average talent at wide receiver. 
  • Younger brother of NFL QB David Carr, experienced being around NFL facilities, meetings, coaches, and players.
  • Playing style similar to Carson Palmer.


  • Questionable accuracy and consistency throwing the ball down field. Played in offense that relied heavily on quick wide receiver screens.
  • Bad habit of falling back on his back foot at times when he throws, missing on deeper passes.
  • Needs to be smarter on 3rd down and short/medium, too many times threw incomplete deep passes instead of shorter higher completion passes for first downs.
  • At times, appears skiddish facing the pass rush, not setting his feet to throw resulting in errant throws.
  • In the Mountain West Conference, did not face top level speed and competition week in and week out.
  • Struggled and did not look as sharp against USC in Las Vegas Bowl.  Missed some passes from not setting his feet.
  • Played almost exclusively from shotgun, do not see a lot of drops and playing from under center.
  • At times would hold onto the ball too long and take some sacks instead of throwing it away.
  • Relied too much at times on his go-to receiver #15 forcing throws into double coverage instead of finding other receivers with better matchups and routes.
  • Needs to put on a little more bulk as an NFL Quarterback.

Film Room

TSV videos provided by Draft Breakdown

4:01 Errant pass rolling out to his left on 3rd & 8 for an INT.
4:33 Recognizes blitz and hits hot throw quick slant.
4:43 Great balance, footwork on drop and reset to throw.
6:58 3rd & 1 hangs too long on deep route, needs to hit hitch route sooner for easy first down.
8:25 Shows his arm strength hits out route to the field from far hash.
12:55 Quick decision and release, gets the ball out quickly on time to backside slant.
13:06 Great throw and location on red zone fade route for a TD.
17:39 Nice pass throwing on the run outside of the pocket.
18:34 Drives seam throw over the middle.
19:39 Big throw for a TD late in 4th Quarter in Two Minute Drill.
19:54 Recognizes Cover 0 Blitz, hits TD over middle for game winner in Overtime.

TSV videos provided by Draft Breakdown

:00 Throws falling on his back foot resulting in an under thrown pass.
:12 Again falling back on his back foot resulting in high throw.
:55 Great location on curl route against tight coverage but dropped.
1:37 Shows his foot speed to outrun 1st level defenders.
2:37 Great throw on corner route on 3rd down for a big first down.
5:49 Misread, clear Cover 0 Man blitz pre-snap throws go route incomplete instead of hitting quick slant for first down.
6:51 Misread, caught looking to #15 with double coverage safety help instead of 1-on-1 match up to the field with a quick slant on 3rd down.
7:58 Good decision, recognizes Cover 0 blitz, hits hot slant route for a first down.
11:51 Bad decision, 3rd down & 3 with clear Cover 0 blitz pre-snap, throws deep double move route incomplete instead of double slant to boundary for first down.
13:06 Good decision, 3rd down & 10 Cover 0 blitz, throws quick slant for first down.
13:36 Great touch throw on fade for a TD.
14:09 Quick release gets the ball out quick.
15:28 Excellent fade throw for TD, falling back but gets away with it because of his strong arm.

TSV videos provided by Draft Breakdown

:01 Great fade throw and location to start the game.
:42 Fires a slant in tight window for a TD.
1:13 Great recognition of bracket man coverage and vacated middle checks it down to the RB for a big gain.
2:47 Throws a laser on the run rolling out to his right.
4:25 Poor decision on 3rd down & 3, overthrows a go route to field instead of taking the shorter stick route for an easy first down.
5:03 Great pass into tight coverage, throws the receiver open.
7:32 Bad habit, does not set his feet and overthrows go route.
9:44 4th down & 4 great accuracy with tight coverage for a big first down.
10:21 Re-directs pass protection to pick up blitz and hits back shoulder fade for a TD.
11:01 Great recognition of mismatch with LB covering the WR, but again bad habit throws falling back and under throws go route.
11:13 Nice accurate deep throw, sets his feet, but is dropped by wide receiver.
11:41 Great timing and throw, before to receiver is out of his break.
14:15 Down 25 points late in game, still competing and throws a laser go route between the safety and corner back but wide receiver dropped the pass.


In Rutgers game Carr threw a lot of quick wide receiver screen passes.  He showed he has a quick release and can get the ball out of his hands quickly.  He threw a poor pass rolling out to his left for an INT in the end zone.  He battled back and showed his ability to read coverages, make good decisions, get the ball to the right receiver quickly, and even making a big pass escaping the pocket and throwing on the run.  He did a great job of executing the 2-Minute offense late in the 4th quarter and led his team down the field for a TD.  He appeared to have the trust of the coaches to call the pass plays himself at the line of scrimmage during 2-Minute which led to the TD.  In overtime, he made a nice read against Cover 0 and hit a TD down the middle to help his team win.

In the San Diego State game, the defense played a lot of man and combo coverage.  Carr was forced to hold onto the ball a little bit longer waiting for his receivers to break open from tight coverage.  Carr showed poise hanging in the pocket and completing some big passes, but also made the mistake of holding onto the ball too long when the rush broke through resulting in a couple of sacks.  He'll have to learn to throw the ball away sooner when protection breaks down. He also showed he is one of the best fade ball passers in the game completing several for touchdowns, even using different trajectories.  However, he made some poor decisions on several 3rd down situations.  With clear Cover 0 heavy blitz looks Carr held onto the football and tried to throw several low percentage deep routes for that fell incomplete instead of taking the higher percentage short underneath routes for easy first downs.  When he did hit the underneath routes they resulted in big first downs.  If Carr is going to be a successful NFL quarterback, he is going to have to be smarter on critical 3rd downs situations and hit those quick slants and pick up first downs.  Former Indianapolis Colts OC and current Arizona Cardinals Assistant Head Coach/Offense Tom Moore teaches NFL quarterbacks to get rid of the football and hit the quick passes when facing a blitzes from NFL defenses, because if do not and hold onto the football, the trainers will be carting you off the field.  Having said that, Carr was at his best in the 4th quarter and led Fresno State to victory an Overtime victory on the road.

Against USC, Carr missed some throws and looked a little unsettled against the USC pass rush  He missed some throws because from not setting his feet early in the game.  However, on most short and intermediate passes, Carr was impressive and showed he is one of the most accurate QB's in the country.  With his wide receivers getting blanketed man coverage all day, he was "throwing receivers open" and pin placing balls consistently where only his receiver could catch the passes.  While the game was not his best, and Fresno State was just clearly outmatched on both sides of the ball, Carr showed he can make these types of short and intermediate throws consistently that he will have to make in the NFL.  He missed on a couple of deep passes in the game again raising some doubts about his ability to consistently throw the deep, but he did throw a couple go routes on the money but both were dropped by wide receivers.  Also, with the game out of reach, Carr did not quit, but continued to play hard, lead the offense, compete, and making throws until the end of the game.  This was good to see, as many NFL games appear to be over but are pulled out late because of competitive quarterbacks playing hard and finding a way to win.

NFL teams will want to see if Carr can be more consistent and accurate throwing the deep ball.  The deep throws he misses are a result of him not setting his feet and falling back on his back foot.  When he does set his feet to throw and follows through properly, he puts passes right on the money.  For Derek Carr to be a more consistent deep ball passer he will have to continue to work on this aspect of his game.  He excels at the short and intermediate routes and is the most accurate quarterback in college football at throwing these routes because of his ability to "throw receivers open" even when they have tightest of coverage.  He will also need to work on making smarter decisions on 3rd down situations.  Too many times this season he made ill-advised decisions throwing the ball deep even when facing a heavy blitz, instead of taking shorter open routes to pick up easy first downs.  3rd downs are critical downs in the NFL and he will have to make smarter decisions in those situations to be successful as a quarterback at the next level.

Passing Chart