Ex-NFL WR Keyshawn Johnson calls Raiders’ Derek Carr an ‘elite’ QB

By Luke Straub

It’s been said for centuries that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But does that hold true for quarterback play in the NFL?

You bet it does. In the case of Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, there are myriad opinions about his level of play, especially after he flirted with an NFL MVP award in 2016.

And if you ask ex-NFL wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson, Carr’s play rises to the level of “elite.” The former No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft made his claim on ESPN’s First Take, to the surprise of First Take’s longtime host, Stephen A. Smith.

Smith was surprised because most NFL observers have Carr a level or two below a top-5 QB. In The Athletic’s annual Quarterback Tiers column, Carr was placed in the third “tier” of quarterbacks, though his rating did rise compared to his 2020 score.

And in regards to Johnson’s top-5 quarterbacks listed in First Take’s tweet, notice one player that Johnson doesn’t consider elite. That would be former MVP QB Lamar Jackson, whom the Raiders will face on Monday Night Football Week 1.

Carr would be among the first to say that Johnson’s opinion isn’t important compared to winning football games, however, starting against Jackson and the Ravens on Monday. And if the Raiders are a winner under Carr’s guidance, Johnson likely won’t be the only one to hail Carr’s admirable qualities as elite.


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