The NFL Top 100 is heading into the home stretch now. Today they counted down from 20 to 11 with Derek Carr landing at the 11 spot. That’s a pretty good ranking for the Raiders’ fourth-year signal caller.
Keep in mind, the NFL Top 100 is by the vote of his peers. This isn’t a subjective ranking by an analyst. It’s how the rest of the NFL views them and they see Carr as one of the league’s top 11 players.
“He’s a guy that gets it.” Chargers QB Philip Rivers said of Carr. “My conversations with him as a rookie until now, he’s a guy that gets it. He’s a guy that respects the game, respects the history of it, and didn’t come into the league as a guy that felt like ‘I know it all’. As a veteran, you can appreciate that in a young guy, but then you watch him and you go ‘man, he’s dang good’ with the plays he makes, the throws he makes.”
This is a huge jump from last year when Carr was at exactly 100 in the ranking. Jumping 89 spots in one season is impressive. It also suggests that perhaps he was not ranked high enough last year. After all, Blake Bortles was ranked 44 spots higher. This year Bortles is not ranked at all.
Carr’s numbers didn’t take a tremendous jump between years two and three. He finished with 3987 yards in 2015 and was at 3937 yards when he was lost to a broken ankle in week 16.
Where Carr took the biggest jump was in his ability to put the team on his back. He set a franchise record with six comeback wins and set an NFL record with 5 game-winning touchdown passes.
One of those big comebacks and game-winning drives came against the Buccaneers in overtime. A game that ended with a 41-yard game-winning touchdown pass from Carr to Seth Roberts.
“The rush doesn’t affect, he’s very calm, cool, collected,” said Buccaneers defensive end Gerald McCoy. “He gets the ball out very fast. He has like this shooter’s touch. You watch him throw, he never really puts like oomph on the ball, it’s really just like a little flick.”
“He put up big numbers against us. Way too many numbers against us.”
The ‘big numbers’ of which McCoy speaks were Carr setting a new Raiders franchise record with 513 passing yards and four touchdowns. The Raiders needed every bit of those yards and scores to overcome another record setting day for penalties (23).
Carr’s heroics brought the Raiders from a 7-9 record in 2015 to a 12-3 record in 2016. They would lose the season finale and get knocked out in the wildcard round of the playoffs without Carr behind center.
Number 11 is well-deserved.
Still up is Khalil Mack who is now assured a spot in the top ten. And if he’s not in the top five, something is wrong.