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Cardinals vs. Raiders preview: Will the Arizona regret passing on Derek Carr?

The Raiders rookie has looked excellent in his first five starts and should be the quarterback the team has waited for since Rich Gannon, will the Cardinals (and others) rue the day?

Thearon W. Henderson

Take a journey back to April and May of 2014, weeks and even days leading up to the 2014 NFL Draft. The question was whether or not the Arizona Cardinals would draft a quarterback in the first round, the second round or at all.

At the time of the draft, I believe it was the Tuesday before the draft, I texted Jess that I had heard the ONLY quarterback the Cardinals would draft in round one was Blake Bortles (truth is we will never know).

Derek Carr was never an option at 20, Bruce Arians confirmed this the other day, and the Cardinals drafted their quarterback, maybe, of the future in round four in Logan Thomas.

The question is, was that the right call?

While picking a quarterback early is in no way a safe proposition, it usually is the best bet of landing a good one.

10 of the top 16 quarterbacks in passer rating (a terrible stat, I know) in 2014 were first round picks, the others: Tony Romo, Russell Wilson, Brian Hoyer (HEY!), Andy Dalton, Colin Kaepernick and Tom Brady. Dalton and Kaepernick were drafted early in the second round, while Wilson is probably the biggest miss of NFL franchises the past decade in evaluating quarterbacks.

Outside of Cutler and Manning, all of those quarterbacks are on the team that drafted them, meaning finding a quarterback that is pretty good usually means investing in them early in the draft.

Was Carr worth the 20th or 27th pick? We do not know yet, but through five games, he looks like he could be and whether or not Deone Bucannon is a good NFL safety (he should be) will never matter if Derek Carr turns out to be a franchise quarterback.

Through five games in the season, Carr has had his rookie highs and lows, but look at the surrounding offensive talent, and the fact he’s put up "similar numbers" as the Cardinals threesome of quarterbacks, albeit with five interceptions, you have to be impressed with what he is doing so far.

The question: Should the Cardinals have drafted Carr? It won’t be answered on Sunday. It won’t be answered in 2014, but it is one that will be looked at in 2015 and 2016 if Palmer does not reach a contract agreement, or drops off in production, or Derek Carr turns out to be really good, then the question will be asked, and rightfully so.