The buzz on Derek Carr to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is getting a little stronger, but so far it appears to mostly be a case of connecting the dots. Jeff Tedford is the Bucs' offensive coordinator, and he coached Derek Carr's brother David in college and is apparently a good family friend as well.
On Monday, Pewter Report published a mock draft that had the Bucs taking Carr in the first round. The reasoning mostly came down to the Tedford and Carr connection. Meanwhile, Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times wrote an article on Jeff Tedford's friendship with Carr. It's an interesting read, including some notes on how Tedford coached Carr a little after last season. It makes for some great background on Tedford and one of the draft's top quarterbacks -- but it shouldn't be made to be any more than that.
Playing connect-the-dots is fine, but it doesn't always work out like that. For every Mike Sherman moving to the NFL and drafting Ryan Tannehill, there are people like Doug Marrone, who drafted E.J. Manuel over his own Ryan Nassib. Even if Tedford wanted to draft Carr, and even that's unclear, he'd have to convince Lovie Smith and whoever the new general manager is that it'd be a good idea to do so. He'd also have to convince them that Carr is worth a first-round pick, rather than a second- or third-round pick.
That's not an easy thing to do, because Derek Carr is far from a polished player. He's a pocket passer who can struggle under pressure and whose mechanics are inconsistent. He played in a spread offense that only rarely asked him to make NFL-quality throws and was heavily dependent on screen passes. There's little evidence of him going through reads and making quality decisions under pressure. When Rotoworld broke down the accuracy of quarterbacks by area of the field and by pressure, Carr looked like the worst of the top quarterbacks by quite some distance.
None of that is to say that Carr won't succeed in the NFL or to suggest that the Buccaneers won't pick him. It's too early to make either statement with any kind of confidence. But Derek Carr isn't exactly a desirable prospect, and it's not at all clear in what way he'd be a better option than Mike Glennon. So take these rumblings of Carr to the Bucs for what they are: people playing connect-the-dots. Nothing more.
Video via Draft Breakdown.