Derek Carr was invited to New York for the draft, but declined because there was no guarantee he would be a first-round pick.
So Carr stayed home in Northern California with his family to avoid any potential awkward wait in the Radio City Music Hall green room, according to former Dallas Cowboys personnel guru Gil Brandt.
Everything seemed to work out well Friday night since Carr will be staying close to home after the Oakland Raiders, who selected the kid from Bakersfield, Calif. less than half an hour into the second round with the 36th overall pick.
It is an ideal landing spot for the Fresno State star who has a chance to develop behind Matt Schaub, acquired in a trade with the Houston Texans for a sixth round pick.
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Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers Super Bowl-winning coach Jon Gruden said Carr is an exceptional arm talent.
The 6-2, 214 Fresno State star passed for 12,843 yards with 113 touchdowns and 24 interceptions, including an eye-poppingg 50 touchdowns last season.
"This kid Carr has a hell of an arm,'' Gruden told USA TODAY Sports. "He's the best arm talent of any quarterback in this draft.
"I think Carr is going to come in and be further along than a lot of these quarterbacks because of his vast background (fifth-year senior). He's got an excellent arm. He's been challenged from a protection standpoint.''
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Here's the thing: When it came right down to it, the Houston Texans needed their quarterback with the first pick of the second round.
Except that Carr, one of the best left was out of play for the Texans, who have been there regretted that.
The Texans couldn't go down the Carr road, not after David Carr proved a bust in draft terms as the first overall pick by the then expansion 2002 Texans. Instead, they took UCLA offensive guard Xavier Su'a-Filo.
Carr did say his brother has helped train him since the age of 3 helping learn the NFL game from the ground up and making him more advanced at blitz and protection pickup calls.
Derek Carr raised questions about his own pocket presence with a poor, 217-yard passing performance in Fresno State's bowl game drubbing by USC.
"I don't think he'll sit in the pocket and deliver strikes when he has to,'' former NFL quarterback Jim Miller told USA TODAY Sports. "I'm not saying he's scared to get hit or anything like that. But he'll succumb to pressure much like his brother."
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