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Say What? NFL Scouts Would Take Derek Carr Over Colin Kaepernick? Really? Why?

colin-kaepernick-tattoosSo, let’s get this straight: Colin Kaepernick is 27-years-old, has led the San Francisco 49ers to within one play of advancing to the Super Bowl, has his team in contention again this season, and a group of NFL executives/coaches say they would take Derek Carr over Kaepernick.

I know what you’re saying: “Who’s Derek Carr?”

Fair question. He’s the rookie quarterback of the Oakland Raiders. The same Oakland Raiders that have won just one of 11 games this season. The same Oakland Raiders Carr led last week in their 52-0 humiliating loss to the St. Louis Rams, who are not exactly the ’85 Bears on defense.

But according to, former NFL scout John Middlekauff polled several league personnel and QB coaches about the two quarterbacks who were, as fate would have it, both taken No. 36 in the draft, only three years apart.

How could Carr go from a nondescript young quarterback to the subject of such an inquiry? Well, here is Middlekauff’s assessment of Kaepernick via the anonymous execs:

“The consistent sentiment is [Kaepernick] may just be what he is and some of his fundamental flaws will not change (accuracy/touch) over time. Kap’s frenetic play is just something his coach and skill guys will have to learn to live with, it may not be something that changed. He will always be a guy that forces you to live with the bad because the good is so special.”

Translation: That was a bunch of double talk. Fundamental flaws will not change? Why not? Why can’t he improve? Frenetic play? What’s that? And here’s the real kicker: “. . . live with the bad because the good is so special.”

When are “special” talents that have produced on the field rated lower than a quarterback most did not know was in the league? Carr, who looks to be a nice player, has not distinguished himself in any way, yet NFL talent evaluators would take him over Kaepernick? Here is Middlekauff’s word on Carr:

“Carr’s pocket presence and natural development over the ‘14 season has caught the eye of many around the NFL. His arm strength was never the question and he has quieted the ‘he may not be tough enough’ crowd quickly. Everyone I spoke with was very bullish on his potential and what he will become once Oakland surrounds him with talent.”

What he really said was Carr, a 23-year-old rookie out of Fresno State, has not done much, but could do a lot. Maybe. They cannot be certain. And he’s rated ahead of Kaepernick? Does that ring reasonable?

Granted, Kaepernick has been less the player expected of him after a 2013 season that landed him a $126 million contract. But even as he searches for a rhythm, the 49ers are 7-5 and fighting for a post-season position.

He has completed 61.2 percent of his passes for 2,736 yards with 15 touchdowns against 8 interceptions. Carr has completed 59.3 percent of his passes for 2,422 yards with 14 TDs and 11 interceptions.

derek-carr-nfl-preseason-oakland-raiders-minnesota-vikings-850x560So, what’s really going on here? We have seen with Robert Griffin III and many other quarterbacks that one season does not make them an NFL star QB. It’s one thing to say Carr has a chance to be a solid or even a star quarterback if he continues to develop. To say he’s the choice over a battle-tested Kaepernick who has flourished against some of the more physical and sound defenses in the league, well, it’s a stretch at best, curious at worst.

If Kaepernick’s last-second pass to Michael Crabtree in the NFC Championship game in January was not broken up by Richard Sherman, he could have been the second Black quarterback to win a Super Bowl, not Seattle’s Russell Wilson. What then?

Of course, playing the “if” game could go on for a while and gets us nowhere. The reality is Kaepernick, for reasons unknown (wink, wink), is being judged quickly and harshly. Perhaps the significant contract contributes to the skepticism. Perhaps he’s been looked at through the lens that measures performance alongside salary.

If that’s the case, Carr should be judged from the standpoint that his body of work is hardly enough to stack up against a playoff-winning quarterback who just turned 27 and has the capacity to grow. Why would Carr’s potential be greater than Kaepernick’s, especially when “Kap” has already won in the NFL?

Why would they compare him to Kaepernick anyway? Why not Cleveland’s Brian Hoyer? Or Arizona’s Drew Stanton? Maybe it’s because Kaepernick and Carr face off on Sunday. Or maybe it’s something deeper. Could it be that Carr is white? Maybe not. But all of it is curious.

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4 thoughts on “Say What? NFL Scouts Would Take Derek Carr Over Colin Kaepernick? Really? Why?

  1. Sekka Amadou says:

    I was wondering the same thing. They're not in the same draft class, or same team or even conference. So why are they comparing them? Why don't they go further and compare him to Alex Smith who looks to be overpaid so far looking at his average production with his current team?

  2. Thomas Bird says:

    Because they are both young Bay Area QB's. One has pocket skills and the other one doesn't. And after Krapperpick's 5 straight bad game its not hard to see why most GM's would rather have Carr. Alex Smith by the way is having a better season then Krapperpick is. If anyone overpaid for a QB its the 49ers who have a 4th year veteran who still can't figure out how to make a simple pre-snap read

  3. Because it's always about race, duh! It has nothing to do with the fact that they were about to play each other, these executives are a bunch of racists! If it were up to them, all the black NFL players would be kept shackled after each game, forced to work on their plantations picking their cotton (the real profitable industry they are in…) tied to a tree and whipped when they get out of line! "Kap" is hardly an exception, I mean come on, a tattooed black man? SEND HIM TO THE PLANTATION!!

  4. Oh yeah, btw: Derek Carr 1, "Kap" 0

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