CLEVELAND – With the 2014 NFL Draft roughly two months away, the Cleveland Browns may be in the market for a new Carr—as in Derek Carr, that is.

Carr, the younger brother of former 2002 top overall pick, David, of the Houston Texans, is beginning to shed some of the pre-combine concerns of his abilities after having one of the best combines among quarterbacks.  Thanks to widespread speculation on various media outlets and blogs, Carr could go anywhere from an early second-round pick to as high as fifth overall to the Oakland Raiders.

Which leaves the perennially quarterback-needy Browns. Do they reach for the former Fresno State Bulldog at No.4 or risk hoping that he slides to them at No.26—or No.35 in the second round?

I have to say that after watching Carr’s debacle in the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl against USC, that I was less than sold on the idea—let alone notion of the Browns selecting him—but after a solid performance in both the Senior Bowl and the recent NFL Scouting Combine in Indy, my position on Carr has evolved to the point of now having Cleveland tab him—but not fourth overall.

The logic behind my reasoning is that while Carr’s stock is rising, there are still some who shudder at the notion of taking a quarterback who played in a pass-friendly offense in a less-than competitive conference such as the Mountain West.  Based on that line of thinking with the exception of Johnny Manziel and A.J. McCarron, projected top-five pick quarterbacks Teddy Bridgewater and Blake Bortles—who played in the American Athletic Conference—should also be just as scrutinized as Carr is for playing in the MWC.

Regardless of conference or surname, 5,082 yards passing, 50 touchdowns and eight interceptions is nothing to simply ignore, especially when a dysfunctional organization such as the Browns is in dire need of a franchise signal-caller. Could Carr be that guy?

Like I said, I’m in favor of the Browns taking Carr at No.26 or No.35. But at No. 4? No.

At 6’3 and 218 pounds, Carr has the build and the arm strength needed to run Shanahan’s version of the West Coast Offense(WCO), and the ability to attack vertically downfield, Cleveland has made too many mistakes in reaching for over-hyped system quarterbacks such as Brady Quinn and Brandon Weeden.

Not to say that Carr could be the next Quinn or Weeden, but the risk of selecting a quarterback that padded his stats against inferior competition high is too much of a risk for the newly retooled Farmer/Haslam/Pettine triumvirate to take.

If the Browns want to be sure that Carr is their guy, as reports suggest, they would be wise to bid their time and let him slide to them late in the first round.

Instead of pulling the trigger early on Carr, Cleveland would be wise to take the best player available(Watkins, Robinson, Clowney or Evans) and hope that Carr somehow gets by other teams in need of a quarterback such as Tampa Bay at No.7 and Minnesota at No.8.

Barring a trade, Carr should fall to the Browns at No.26

Then again, this is the Cleveland Browns and the NFL Draft we are talking about here, right?

Depending on Carr’s pro day, he could raise his draft stock to Ryan Tannehill-like heights and be taken as high as three to Jacksonville, or four to the Browns.  This is all hypothetical and mere speculation right now, but depending on whether or not Carr knocks it out of the park, Cleveland could have a tough decision to make on draft day.


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