ESPN Survey: Opponents High On Derek Carr, Supporting Cast “Awful” in 2014

A recent ESPN insider piece ranked all 32 NFL starting quarterbacks and placed each into one of four tiers. Raiders quarterback, Derek Carr, was ranked 20th overall and fell into the 3rd tier which was defined as “quarterbacks who are good enough to start but need lots of support, making it tougher to contend at the highest level.”

Other quarterbacks who fell into Carr’s tier were: Carson Palmer, Alex Smith, Ryan Tannehill, Colin Kaepernick, Andy Dalton, Jay Cutler, Nick Foles, Sam Bradford, and Teddy Bridgewater.

Maybe more interesting than the rankings were a few of the anonymous quotes – particularly in regard to the level of talent around Carr in 2014. From an opposing personnel director:

I think he is strong in the pocket, and just watching him, it feels like he is in command, knows where he is going with the ball and has plenty of arm strength. The lack of talent around him is pretty apparent. You get the offensive line and run game going, surround him with some better players and he makes a big jump.

An opposing defensive coordinator:

He can spin it, he has good accuracy, he makes quick decisions. The people that like him but do not rank him higher, well, he has an awful supporting cast. No run game, awful receivers. They drafted some guys. They have a shot.

Another personnel director that played against Carr last season said he needs to “show more against the blitz,” but was “impressed with the way Carr controlled the game and saw the field.” Another defensive coordinator was impressed by Carr’s demeanor, adding that he was “tough to rattle.”

These were the overall rankings:

Tier 1

  1. Aaron Rodgers (tie)
  2. Tom Brady (tie)
  3. Andrew Luck
  4. Ben Roethisberger
  5. Peyton Manning
  6. Drew Brees

Tier 2

  1. Philip Rivers
  2. Russell Wilson
  3. Tony Romo
  4. Joe Flacco
  5. Matt Ryan
  6. Eli Manning (tie)
  7. Matt Stafford (tie)
  8. Cam Newton

Tier 3

  1. Carson Palmer
  2. Alex Smith
  3. Ryan Tannehill
  4. Colin Kaepernick (tie w/Dalton)
  5. Andy Dalton (tie w/Kaepernick)
  6. Derek Carr (tie w/Cutler)
  7. Jay Cutler (tie w/Carr)
  8. Nick Foles
  9. Sam Bradford
  10. Teddy Bridgewater

Tier 4

  1. Marcus Mariota
  2. Jameis Winston
  3. Blake Bortles
  4. Robert Griffin III
  5. Josh McCown
  6. Brian Hoyer
  7. Matt Cassel
  8. Geno Smith