A few teams were in need of a quarterback in the 2014 draft. The first was the Houston Texans, but with the number one overall pick, they found Jadeveon Clowney too good to pass up. Next up with a QB need was the Jaguars at third overall. They made the move to get their man in Blake Bortles out of instate University of Central Florida.
Bortles was considered the top quarterback in the draft. His selection left a group of quarterbacks who, depending on who you ask, were all considered potential top ten prospects. But none of them actually went in the top ten.
The Raiders selected at pick number five, but, like the Texans, found a dominant defender too enticing to pass up – Khalil Mack.
The next QB off the board was Johnny Manziel who went 22 overall to the Browns. Then Minnesota traded up into the 32 spot to grab Teddy Bridgewater to close out the first round. That left just Derek Carr as the only potentially top ten worthy quarterback still on the board.
Day two began with the Texans again, giving them another shot at getting a quarterback. But they didn’t go for Carr. They had done that before, taking Derek’s older brother David with the number one overall pick in 2002 – their first draft pick in franchise history. They instead chose offensive guard Xavier Su’a-Filo.
And so it came to pass, that with the 36 overall pick in round two, the Raiders selected their franchise quarterback in Derek Carr; 33 spots below Blake Bortles as the first quarterback taken. And thus the two are forever linked and compared.
"You always are grouped in that little group, with Teddy [Bridgewater], with Johnny [Manziel], Blake [Bortles], myself, Jimmy [Garoppolo], you think about all those guys that were in that class and that will always be forever," said Derek Carr.
Johnny Manziel has been a cautionary tale whose attitude and substance abuse problems have him out of the league. Bridgewater has played well, but a devastating injury may threaten his career now as well. Garopplo has sat behind Tom Brady in New England his first two seasons, starting just a couple games early this season during Brady’s suspension for ‘Deflategate’.
That means really the only comparison left is between Carr and Bortles. Here are some direct numbers comparisons:
What you see are some pretty comparable numbers, with Carr actually besting the man taken 33 spots ahead of him in most categories including passer rating, touchdowns (both career and per game) and interceptions.
As is often the case with Carr, he doesn't see things in this way. He has always maintained that he is very fond of his fellow drafted quarterbacks. Though his connection with Bortles has become a bit more than just admiration from afar. The two have become good friends.
"We've created a cool little bond, texting back and forth, here and there, those things," Carr said of Bortles. "Especially when ‘Oly' [former Raiders offensive coordinator and current Jaguars offensive coordinator Greg Olson] headed that way, talking back and forth and those things just trying to help him out as much as I could. I think whenever I play against a friend, it's a good thing I don't play against them because if I played defense, it wouldn't help. I'm better off helping us on the offensive side of the ball. It's not me literally playing against him, but being able to see him out there and watch him play will be fun but this will be the one time I don't root for him."