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Feb 21, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr speaks to the media in a press conference during the 2014 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

"Growing sentiment" the Browns could take Derek Carr at 4

 

The draft pecking order at quarterback could need some adjusting, if the latest insider scuttlebutt is true.

Thus far, it’s been assumed that Johnny Manziel, Blake Bortles and Teddy Bridgewater would be the first three QBs off the board, in some order.

Derek Carr has found himself playing second fiddle to that trio, rating as a sort of floating 1-A option between the first and second tiers, or as merely a second-tier QB.

But lately things have been shifting. Derek Carr is finding supporters, and Teddy Bridgewater is accumulating detractors.

Is someone deliberately trying to torpedo Bridgewater’s draft stock by floating negative reports? Maybe.

Or it could be that there are NFL personnel people with genuine concerns about Bridgewater, either because of his slight physical frame, his occasional inaccuracy or some other factor.

And it could be that personnel people, having soured on Bridgewater, are now warming to Carr as a reasonable alternative.

Whether you believe them or not, the reports are now out there that Cleveland is one team looking at Carr as a serious option at #4. ESPN’s Ashley Fox says there is a “growing sentiment” in NFL circles that Carr will be the Browns’ pick and that they won’t shy away from taking him at 4.

Carr’s uptick isn’t only a function of Bridgewater’s downtick, however. After initially having his value as a pro-style QB questioned, Carr is now being re-evaluated by experts, and this is leading to a re-adjustment in perceptions.

The key, according to Ashley Fox, is Carr’s 2011 tape from when Fresno State ran a more pro-style offense under then-coach Pat Hill. Carr’s performance in that season indicates that he can function quite well outside the spread concepts Fresno State ran in 2012 and 2013.

Carr’s performance in workouts also indicates a strong arm and an acceptable deep ball accuracy, two traits that teams value in a pro-style QB.

This re-evaluation of Carr could be the reason the Browns are now moving back around to him. Or, again, this could all be more static getting broadcast into the air to obscure what teams really think.

It’s worth pointing out that independent evaluators like Louis Riddick are themselves taking another look at Carr’s 2011 tape and concluding that he may be undervalued.

Rest assured that all this information on Carr, from his old tape to his new tape to his work out performance, is being carefully sifted by Norv Turner and Rick Spielman.

If the Browns pass on Carr at 4, could the Vikings take him at 8? I don’t think we can entirely rule it out.

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