Derek Carr Visual Rookie Card Guide and Checklist
Certainly not overlooked coming out of college, it was still easy for Derek Carr to be lost in the shuffle for rookie collectors thanks to other popular quarterbacks like Johnny Manziel, Blake Bortles and Teddy Bridgewater. However, Derek Carr was the opening game starter for the Oakland Raiders and hobby excitement is starting to build around the young quarterback despite an uneven rookie season.
After an impressive high school career, Derek Carr played college football at Fresno State. Starting for three seasons, Carr boosted his stats each season and also increased the team's win totals, culminating with an 11-win season during 2013 in which he threw 50 touchdown passes and only eight interceptions. Following his senior year, Carr declared for the 2014 NFL Draft.
The fourth quarterback off the board, Derek Carr was selected early in the second round by the Oakland Raiders. Although he was not intended to be the immediate starter, Carr beat out Matt Schaub based on a strong preseason and was named the starter for week one.
While it is not unheard of for a second round pick to start the first game of his rookie season, it is not exactly common, happening only three times since 2002. This is made more significant for collectors as Derek Carr was the only rookie quarterback to start the first week of the season. While the season was rough for Carr and the Raiders, he showed enough to give the fan base hope. Time will tell if David Carr can actually succeed in the NFL, but the hobby will watch with great anticipation to see what the rookie can do.
Derek Carr has a good variety of card options for collectors to chase. Official NFL options are available from Panini and Topps and each can be seen below. Collectors will notice that many cards utilize the same images, especially among the early releases. Also, most of the base rookie cards feature limited photo variations. As a rule, collectors gravitate toward the autographed rookie cards, especially the hard-signed cards. This puts Contenders, Crown Royale, Inception, Five Star and National Treasures among his most popular rookie options. Carr was not included in the autographed rookie patch subset of the high-end Immaculate release.
Upper Deck and Leaf offer additional options and can generally be found for more budget prices as they are not NFL licensed. Notable Derek Carr cards from Leaf and Upper Deck can be seen below. All Upper Deck cards feature a college theme, showcasing Carr's Fresno State career. Upper Deck's deep history of brands allows them to tap into some popular options, steeped in nostalgia.
Taking a different tactic, Leaf uses airbrushed college images, but given that most are on-card autographs combined with the quality of the cards and a limited print run, this has made them a popular alternative. Leaf Trinity is the clear standout for those interested in Derek Carr pre-rookie cards.
The following guide looks at all the rookie cards for Derek Carr in 2014 products. Official rookie cards are shown as well as the main options for products without a true rookie card set.
Derek Carr Rookie Card Guide
Click on the listings to shop for card singles on eBay. Parallels are shown in place of the base cards when necessary.
Notable Derek Carr College and Pre-Rookie Cards