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Jon Gruden backs QB Derek Carr as draft's top arm

Count former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Oakland Raiders coach Jon Gruden in the Derek Carr camp, at least where the former Fresno State quarterback's raw talent as a passer is concerned.

Gruden has seen the draft's top quarterback prospects up close through the ESPN program "Gruden's QB Camp." And from Johnny Manziel to Blake Bortles, Teddy Bridgewater to AJ McCarron, Gruden likes Carr's arm best.

"Derek Carr has the best arm talent in this draft," Gruden said, according to SiriusXM NFL radio.

That's high praise, but not out of line with the growing sentiment that Carr belongs squarely in the top tier of the draft's quarterback prospects. In fact, Cleveland Browns coach Mike Pettine made a very similar remark about Carr last month, calling him the draft's best "natural thrower." NFL Media analyst Charles Davis' latest mock draft places Carr as the first quarterback drafted, No. 11 overall to the Tennessee Titans. Then there was the report that the Oakland Raiders have a "massive crush" on the younger brother of former No. 1 overall pick David Carr.

Gruden's commentary on Bortles suggested that the former UCF standout is more of a developmental prospect, while he praised Bridgewater for his football intelligence. But on purely an arm measurement? Give Gruden Carr. He led the entire NCAA in passing yards last year with 5,082, for an NCAA-high 50 touchdowns and only eight interceptions.

What all that will add up to for Carr on draft day remains to be seen, but it certainly bodes well for his name coming off the board in short order.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.

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