Should Derek Carr start over Matt Schaub in 2014?

Levi Damien

When the Raiders traded for Matt Schaub, it was expected that he would be the starting quarterback for the Silver and Black. Even when Derek Carr was drafted, Schaub was still labeled as the starter. Now the impressive performance of Carr in OTA's, Raiders offensive coordinator, Greg Olson says Carr is better than they though and could push for the starting job. Who should the Raiders make the starting quarterback, Matt Schaub or Derek Carr?

The simple answer is that the starter should be the best quarterback. While that answer is great if Schaub is the better quarterback, it creates variables if Carr is the more effective of the two.

Now, the question becomes: Assuming Carr proves he is better than Matt Schaub, should he be named the starting quarterback in Oakland?

Here is a list of successful quarterbacks in the NFL that are still playing. These quarterbacks are arranged by if they started right away, or sat at least one year before starting. Quarterbacks that have not played recently were not included because the game has changed from how it used to be played.

Started year one Sat out at least one year

Peyton Manning

Tom Brady

Cam Newton

Eli Manning

Matt Ryan

Robert Griffin III

Matthew Stafford

Alex Smith

Russell Wilson

Ben Roethlisberger

Ryan Tannehill

Joe Flacco

Drew Brees

Aaron Rodgers

Philip Rivers

Tony Romo

Colin Kaepernick

Matt Schaub

Now here is a chart showing quarterbacks picked in the first or second round from 2004-2011 (picks more recent have not had enough time to prove themselves) that did not pan out.

Started year one Sat out at least one year

Vince Young

Matt Leinart

Tarvaris Jackson

JaMarcus Russell

John Beck

Josh Freeman

Sam Bradford

Tim Tebow

Jimmy Clausen

Blaine Gabbert

Christian Ponder

J.P. Losman

Kellen Clemens

Brady Quinn

Kevin Kolb

Drew Stanton

Chad Henne

Brian Brohm

Pat White

Jake Locker

What these charts show is that starting a quarterback early is a high risk, high reward decision. Most likely, the quarterback will either become a star or a bust. But sitting a quarterback for one year is safer and creates less busts, but also decreases the chances of finding a star. When teams are drafting quarterbacks in the first and second rounds, they are often searching for a franchise player, not an average quarterback.

Although JaMarcus Russell became one of the biggest failures in NFL history, Al Davis played his cards right starting him early. While Russell became a bust, Davis was trying to find an elite quarterback so he increased the chances of finding one by starting Russell in his first year. Where Davis screwed up was drafting Russell in the first place.

If Reggie McKenzie feels that Derek Carr is his guy, then Carr should be started from day one if he proves that he is more effective than Matt Schaub. This way, Carr has a better chance to become the franchise quarterback the Raiders have sought since Rich Gannon left the team in 2005. But if Schaub shows that he is more polished than Carr, than Schaub should lead the Silver and Black.

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