As the NFL Draft schedule winds down from the hoopla of the Scouting Combine to the doldrums of the NFL’s Free Agency period the rumor mill was bound to reopen for business as reporters/analysts turn away from breaking down players and begin to attach teams to certain players with the draft still months away in May.
One of the players being attached to the Raiders is Derek Carr, a player that Reggie McKenzie has been reported to have been kicking the tires on dating back to season when he was reported to have been asking around Fresno State circles regarding Carr’s character and Christian faith.
Now NFL.com is reporting that the Raiders have Carr ahead of Texas A&M star Johnny Manziel on their draft boards.
NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah said he heard from several sources at the NFL Scouting Combine that Cleveland is targeting Carr, not Manziel, in the draft, despite reports to the contrary. Additionally, the Los Angeles Times’ Sam Farmer writes Sunday in his mock draft that the Raiders left the combine with Carr ahead of Manziel on their draft board.
Farmer has the Raiders passing on Manziel to take Carr with the fifth-overall draft pick (he has Manziel going eighth to the Vikings) and writes, “The Raiders are known for their unconventional picks, so Manziel might seem like a natural fit for them. Word is, though, that they liked Carr more coming out of the combine.”
This comes as no surprise to me as the Raiders have long coveted Carr and Reggie McKenzie values character (and Christian values) quite highly which automatically places Carr ahead of the infamous Manziel when it comes to a lack of red flags surrounding character issues. Carr is not viewed as a Top 5 talent in this draft, so it is unlikely that the Raiders end up drafting him unless he falls to the second round or the team can arrange a trade. Still it is very interesting to see reports coming out with Carr higher than Manziel on the Raiders boards, which should put an end to mainstream draft talking heads attaching the Silver and Black with Johnny Football.