While one high-profile quarterback opted to drop out of the Senior Bowl, another can’t wait to show the horde of NFL personnel what he can do this week.
“Everybody is entitled to how they feel and what they want to do but I always want to compete,” said Fresno State star Derek Carr. “Who wouldn’t want to come to the Senior Bowl? This is a wonderful opportunity.”
Alabama star A.J. McCarron, a potential top-50 pick,reportedly skipped the bowl
to concentrate on training for the combine and Alabama’s pro day.
However, Carr ― who threw for 5,082 yards, 50 touchdowns and eight interceptions this season ― has obviously decided to take a more gung-ho approach, despite that fact ESPN’s Scouts Inc. has assigned him a similar grade (84 out of 100) to McCarron (85 out of 100).
“I’ll compete against anybody,” Carr said. “I don’t care who you line up next to me, I’m going to throw to him all day until we get it right.”
Senior Bowl executive director Phil Savage said Carr was the first quarterback to commit to playing in the game and has stayed in touch with the game’s organizers ever since, all the while wanting to know who his roommates were going to be and jokingly asking for some of the North squad receivers to be switched to Carr’s South squad.
But this week certainly isn’t all fun and games for Carr, who has spent the last two years operating primarily out of the shotgun and is determined to prove to the legion of NFL decision-makers that he can effectively play under center. The actual game kicks off at 3 p.m. Saturday at Ladd-Peebles Stadium, but most NFL people only stick around through Wednesday or Thursday, which means his performance in practice over the next few days will be crucial.
“(I want) to show that I’ve been (playing under center) since I was three and that I’ve only been in the shotgun for two years,” Carr said. “Also, (I want to show) my knowledge of the game. I’m not going to be anybody fake. I’m going to be me. Hopefully one of these 32 teams fall in love.”
Much like Houston did with his brother, David, who was taken No. 1 overall by the Houston Texans in the 2002 Draft.
Derek said he’s looking forward to starring in the same game his brother did so long ago.
“I don’t know how many brothers have gotten to play in the Senior Bowl but what an opportunity,” Derek said. “Just everything he’s told me about how great everybody was to him and how classy it was, I wanted to strive to get here. It didn’t matter if they told me you’re a lock to be No. 1, I wanted to be here because they treated my brother so well.”
ESPN analyst Mel Kiper doesn’t have Carr being taken within the first 32 picks ofhis most recent mock draft, which means he could be there for the Chiefs at No. 23 in the first round if they choose to groom a young quarterback for the future, though they are expected to make a push to extend starter Alex Smith, who is only under contract one more season.