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Davis: Derek Carr could be a poor man's Matthew Stafford


It's a time-honored tradition when the draft rolls around -- comparing prospects to current or former NFL players. It's a good way for some teams to grasp how highly some 2014 NFL Draft hopefuls are valued as well as a way for fans to understand what kind of player their favorite team might be getting.

Recently, Fresno State coach Tim DeRuyter said he is reminded of Ryan Tannehill when he watches Derek Carr. While NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah is a bit jealous he's not the first one to think of that comparison, he does agree with DeRuyter because he has the two quarterbacks rated similarly coming out of college.

"When I look at the grades I gave these guys, they are very, very similar," said Jeremiah on "Path to the Draft." "I have a slightly higher grade on Ryan Tannehill. When you look at what they bring to the table, I give Carr an edge in terms of arm strength, velocity, the quickness of the release. Ryan Tannehill, a former receiver, I give him the edge in athleticism.

"I see it."

Tannehill is about two inches and 10 pounds bigger than Carr, so it's not exactly an apples-to-apples comparison between the two in today's NFL, where size is a huge factor in a quarterback's draft evaluation nowadays. Still, DeRuyter saw both players in practice every day -- he was defensive coordinator at Texas A&M previously -- so he is definitely in position to throw that comparison out there.

It remains to be seen, howeer, if Carr can match Tannehill's draft position. Tannehill was taken by the Miami Dolphins with the eighth overall pick in 2012. Carr could seemingly go anywhere in the first round, but a number of mock drafts are trending toward him going to Cleveland with their second pick on the first day, at No. 26.

Fellow analyst Charles Davis didn't quite agree with the Tannehill comparison for Carr, but he did liken him to another NFL starting quarterback known for his big arm.

"I got fooled a little bit on tape with Derek Carr because he threw so many of those bubble screens and short passes," Davis said. "But when we saw him at the Senior Bowl, in bad weather, I got to see the arm on him. I thought to myself he could even be a poor man's Matthew Stafford with that type of an arm that can push it downfield."

"I don't get the comparison to Tannehill quite as much, but I get it in grades."

"One other thing they do share is, they are both very good interviews when you talk with people around the league," Jeremiah said.

We'll say this: It's better to compare Carr to someone like Tannehill than use the built-in similarities he has to his brother David, who was taken No. 1 overall by the Texans.

Whoever drafts Derek Carr in the first round, we're sure they are just hoping he can shed all the comparisons and create his own legacy on the field so he's the guy teams think of when they see a successful quarterback entering the draft.

Follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter @BryanDFischer.



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