By Garret Heinrich

The Houston Texans have the first pick in the NFL Draft on May 8th in New York City.   We know that. We don’t know who or what the Texans will do with that pick. Most signs point to them taking a quarterback number one overall.

And while everyone seems to be talking about Teddy Bridgewater, Johnny Manziel and Blake Bortles (even a little talk of waiting and taking Aaron Murray), everyone is forgetting about the best QB that played this season in College Football,  Derek Carr.  And the Texans need to look at Derek Carr.

Understandably the name Carr on the back of the guy under center for the Houston Texans brings nightmares for Texans fans and probably some members of the Texans staff, but the guy deserves a look.

We’ve heard jokes and off the cuff comments about how the Texans won’t take Derek Carr because his big brother is David Carr.  Just because David Carr turned out to be a bust as a number one overall pick is no reason to hold that over Derek’s head.  The kid can play.

If Bob McNair, Rick Smith and the new coaching staff of the Texans decide not to take a good hard long look at the younger Carr, they are making a big mistake.  Whether that decision would be based on marketing or just a bad taste in the mouth from a previous mistake, it’s wrong.  A decision based on anything but on the field acumen is something Al Davis or another owner just up I45 would do.  In the NFL the best marketing you can have is winning and a good quarterback is the key to that strategy.

Derek Carr is getting overlooked.  In side by side mock draft Rob Lang has Carr dropping all the way to 26th in the draft and the Cleveland Browns, while Dane Brugler has Carr as the 4th quarterback taken at number eight to the Vikings.   Either way no one thinks Derek Carr is a candidate for the first pick in the Draft for the Texans.

Why is that?  When you compare the numbers, he’s better.  When you look at the intangibles, he’s on par with the other three quarterbacks likely to go in the top 10.  When you look at pedigree, he’s got it.  Yes his brother ended up being a flop in the NFL, but his brother was still good enough to be the first pick in the NFL Draft.  His brother was still good enough to be on an NFL roster until the 2013 season.  His brother also was sacked more than any other quarterback in the NFL his first, third and fourth seasons in the league.   David Carr also led the league in completion percentage in 2006, (his final season with the Texans).

David Carr was good.  Derek Carr is probably better.   Now I’m not sure if Derek Carr deserves the first pick in the NFL draft, but what about the Texans first pick.  What if there is a trade with the Vikings, say at number eight.  Trade down from pick one.  For pick eight and a second or third round pick this year and one next year.  Why wouldn’t the Texans take that for Derek Carr?

There is nothing that should turn the Texans away from the Fresno State quarterback.  He has the size, the mobility and the arm strength to play in a Bill O’Brien system.

On the stats front, Derek Carr is better than every other quarterback in the conversation.  Carr amassed over 5,000 yards, 50 TDs to only eight INTs  for the Bulldogs in 2013.

We actually have the rare ability to compare these quarterbacks on a somewhat level playing field.  Bortles, Bridgewater and Carr all played Rutgers at home this season.

Here is how the three QB’s did:

Bridgewater – 21-31 (67.7%) 310 yds, 2 TD’s, 1 INT

7 carries for 11 yards

Bortles – 21-30 (70.0%) 335 yds, 1 TD, 0 INT

13 carries for 32 yards and 1 TD

Carr – 52-73 (71.2%) 456 yds, 5 TD’s, 1 INT

4 carries for 24 yards

That is a pretty comparable game, except that Carr threw 12 more passes than Bridewater and Bortles combined.  Carr’s game also came the first week of the season while Bridgewater and Bortles played in weeks six and 10 respectively.

Rutgers isn’t a powerhouse by any means, but it is nice to be able to look at how teams played against similar opposition.  For the entire season Carr is just as impressive as the what seems to be unanimous top three.

2013 QB Stats:

Player Comp Att Comp % Yards TD INT
Bridgewater 303 427 71.0 3970 31 4
Bortles 259 382 65.7 3581 25 9
Carr 454 659 66.7 5083 50 8
Manziel 300 429 69.9 4114 37 13

He might not be the best quarterback to come out of this draft class.  But he deserves to be in the conversation.  And if the Texans remove him from those conversations because they don’t think he’s good enough on the field, no issue.  But if they remove him from those conversations because his last name brings up bad memories, then the Houston Texans are just a company trying to market themselves and make some money, not a football team looking to win a Super Bowl.

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