Thursday, NFL.com's Gregg Rosenthal put together his most recent quarterback index and the most intriguing position of any of the quarterbacks on the list is that of Raiders' second year signal caller, Derek Carr, who is among some elite company.
Carr landed atop the quarterbacks which Rosenthal dubs "Next Level" at number seven overall. He is just below the quarterbacks he views calls "Top Shelf". Here is how the top of the list ranks quarterbacks:
Alone at the top
1. Tom Brady
2. Carson Palmer
3. Cam Newton
4. Andy Dalton
5. Aaron Rodgers
6. Ben Roethlisberger
7. Derek Carr
8. Philip Rivers
9. Drew Brees
10. Russell Wilson
11. Matt Ryan
As you can see, Carr is above some quality quarterback talent. Rosenthal was sure to point out that this list is based solely on 2015 performance. He spoke at length about Derek Carr, much of which he is restating from a previous article in which he said he was wrong in his judgment of Carr prior to this season.
Bridgewater is on schedule. Carr, meanwhile, is a star. He's ranked No. 7 in our rankings below, which is based only on 2015 play. Only Tom Bradyhas played better over the last three weeks. I could not have been more wrong about Carr over the offseason.
A downturn feels inevitable at some point because Carr is a second-year player, but he only gets better every week. He reliably connects on third-and-long, yet avoids mistakes. He's ranked in the top-five in lowest sack percentage and interception percentage since entering the league. Carr calmly finds secondary receivers like Andre Holmes and Seth Roberts. Michael Crabtree makes more money every week he plays with Carr.
The situation around Carr is excellent from the underrated offensive line to the true No. 1 receiver (Amari Cooper) to an offensive system that gets receivers open. But Carr, like any franchise quarterback, makes the entire enterprise go. Everything changes when an organization finds The Guy. Carr is going to make a lot of co-workers a lot of money in the coming years, even his general manager.
I think he's suitably impressed.