Prior to the 2014 NFL Draft, Derek Carr was considered a quarterback that would be a cheap acquire with a possibly high reward. Some NFL Draft analysts predicted the former Fresno State quarterback could be the best of the bunch while others continued to endorse the likes of Johnny Manziel and Blake Bortles. The Oakland Raiders were one of the ones who were believes in the potential of Carr and now that confidence could begin to pay off in the upcoming years.
Newly appointed head coach Jack Del Rio has no doubt that Carr is the quarterback for the future for the Raiders. While Carr only one a small handful of games in his rookie season, he did show the potential to do big things for the franchise as Del Rio referred to him as the building block for the offense.
"Carr's a special young talent," Del Rio said, via the Jim Rome Show. "He's got a really quick release, good decision-maker; he's shown some of that grit we're looking for, some of that toughness, so he's a guy that we feel like we have an opportunity to build around."
Carr has a number of people in his corner after his rookie season. Wide receiver James Jones recently referred to the quarterback comparing him to Aaron Rodgers noting that he remains calm in the pocket while having the ability to make big plays and be mobile when needed. Center Stefen Wisniewski echoed those terms saying the quarterback was not a typical rookie and he had a solid understand of opposing defenses and how to be a great leader as well.
"He's not your typical rookie," Wisniewski said, via the San Francisco Chronicle. "He's got an NFL quarterback older brother that's been teaching him for years. He understands defenses at a very advanced level more than most rookies would. I think Derek gets way more prepared than most rookies would be."
The task for the Raiders will be to build around Carr. Free agency could be very big for the Raiders after an impactful draft class in 2014. Julius Thomas, Ndamukong Suh and Randall Cobb are all names that have been tossed around as free agent targets. The Raiders will have the cap space to sign big names along with running backs like DeMarco Murray or LeSean McCoy if available. If Carr is the true building block of the offense, the team must put the pieces in place to make him successful.