Fresno State’s Derek Carr might not receive the same hype as his counterparts at bigger schools yet he is catching the attention of one group – NFL scouts. Carr can be moving up teams’ draft boards as he has led the Bulldogs to a 10-0 record and the cusp of the BCS Bowl birth.
Carr has already thrown for nearly 4000 yards in operating offensive coordinator David Schramm’s no-huddle, spread offense. Schramm ‘s offense is effectively the version of the Air flow Raid and this is the reason why projecting a player like Carr towards the NFL difficult.
Fresno Condition operates almost exclusively with 10 personnel (4 wide receiver, 1 RB, 0 TE) from the shotgun. The Bulldogs throw a high percent of the time, mixing underneath routes with vertical throws. A large part of the Bulldogs’ offense is the wide receiver screen game , which usually effectively functions as Fresno State’s running attack. The Bulldogs use flash screens, tunnel screens and so on to constrain the defense and take advantage of defensive backs concerned with the down field passing game.
As a schematic matter, the wide receiver screen game is an effective counter for just about any passing team. NFL offenses more and more utilize the outside screen game and if they do not, they probably should. Clovis State is extremely efficient with wide receiver screens and it forms an important part of the Bulldogs’ offense.
But it does limit evaluation opportunities associated with Carr when over half his throws are screen passes. Which is not to say that Carr is bereft of opportunities to showcase his ability to translate into an NFL offense. Carr has nearly every tool one would search for in an NFL quarterback. At 6’3’’ his height is slightly lower than ideal, but he makes up for this with athleticism. Schramm does not usually call upon Carr to carry the football, but he is able to gain yards scrambling and, more importantly, extend plays with his legs. He does a nice job keeping his eyes downfield and throwing the football away in the event that need be. He is also effective rolling out of the pocket.
Carr also has a strong arm and is quite effective in fitting in throws down the football field. He is able to effectively use his arm because he does a nice job reading the opposing secondary. For instance, below Schramm dials up a smash combination to the top of the field. Smash creates a hi-lo vertical stretch upon the squat corner.
As soon as the part jumps the hitch route Carr turns to the corner throw. Carr sees the safety hesitate, and immediately delivers the throw.
Carr also offers a nice touch on vertical throws. Another preferred Fresno State route is four verticals , and Carr does a great job throwing the seam route.
That is not to say that Carr does not have room for improvement. Especially, Carr needs to demonstrate a greater ability to fit throws into tight home windows and throw receivers open, especially on mid-range throws. This is partially a function of the offense, because the Bulldogs generally mix the fast passing game with deep shots. Nonetheless, Carr must make these throws to succeed at the next degree. In the meantime, however , Carr is actively playing at a high level in keeping Fresno Condition undefeated and setting his sights on a January bowl game.