Raiders' Derek Carr ranked as Chris Simms' No. 18 overall QB in NFL


Raiders' Derek Carr ranked as Chris Simms' No. 18 overall QB in NFL

The entire offseason seemed like a cloud of question marks over Raiders quarterback Derek Carr's head. 

Did Jon Gruden even want Carr as his quarterback? Would the Raiders draft a QB with their top pick? What did GM Mike Mayock think about him? 

In the end, the Raiders held off from grabbing a quarterback in the draft and stuck it out with Carr. Going into the 2019 season, Oakland's signal caller comes in as NBC Sports NFL analyst Chris Simms' No. 18 overall player at the position in a 32-team league. 

"The last two years have not been great," Simms said. "And I understand that's not all on Derek Carr. And last year it's hard to give an evaluation on him because the team around him was that crappy." 

Carr has thrown for 7,545 yards over the last two years with 41 touchdowns and 23 interceptions. Last season, his first under Gruden, he threw a career-high 4,049 yards, but a career-low 19 touchdowns. The Raiders have also only won 10 games over the last two years. 

Before breaking his leg in the penultimate regular-season game in 2016, Carr looked like a possible front-runner for NFL MVP. Since then, Simms hasn't been wowed by the quarterback. 

"The last two years, I know the team, the offense has all been a little dysfunctional," Simms said. "But Derek Carr's been dysfunctional along with it." 

Simms also believes that Carr has been too conservative. The Raiders' QB has been knocked for his tendency to check down for shorter gains, which is ironic since he's rated as Pro Football Focus' best deep-ball passer. The addition of wide receiver Antonio Brown can quickly change his style, though. 

In fact, Simms believes multiple additions through free agency and the draft should help Carr this season. 

"He could be a riser in a hurry," Simms said. "He has talent to be in that top 10 conversation. I think the improvements they made on the offensive line, Josh Jacobs at running back ... they lost Jared Cook, but you get Tyrell Williams from the Chargers, you get Antonio Brown, they get Trent Brown at right tackle now. 

"I would be shocked if that offense isn't better and his numbers aren't better." 

[RELATED: Why Carr will benefit from second season in Gruden's offense]

Carr dropped from No. 14 to No. 18 for Simms, but it sure sounds like he sees the QB soaring up his rankings this season.

Ex-Raiders receiver Antonio Brown addresses Patriots media for first time

Ex-Raiders receiver Antonio Brown addresses Patriots media for first time

Antonio Brown officially is a Patriot. Sure, he already has played one game with New England, but now that he's shown he is part of the "Patriot Way" with the media, it's actually real. 

Brown answered questions from reporters Thursday for the first time since joining the Patriots on Sept. 9, and took a page out of coach Bill Belichick's book. The former Raiders receiver didn't have any antics or soundbites. 

Instead, he answered four questions in the most bland and boring way possible -- just like Belichick likes. 

"I'm super grateful to be here, to play for Bill Belichick, Tom Brady. I got a lot of the offense to learn, and catch up. But I'm excited and grateful to be here and be a part of these guys," Brown told reporters when asked if he was in good standing with the NFL. 

Days after Brown signed with the Patriots, his former trainer, Britney Taylor, filed a lawsuit against Brown alleging the star receiver sexually assaulted her three separate times, including "forcibly raping" her. He has denied all allegations.

And Sports Illustrated's Robert Klemko recently did a deep dive on Brown that shows a pattern of disturbing behavior, including another report of sexual misconduct. 

Brown was not asked directly by the media about these allegations. 

When Brown was asked about getting used to playing for the Patriots, his answer was far from the quotes he would give with the Raiders on HBO's "Hard Knocks" when he actually practiced. 

[RELATED: Former Raiders receiver Brown loses his Nike shoe contract]

"It's football. I'm grateful to play football. Every time you walk in the doors here, you do your best for the team," Brown said. "So every time I walk in here, I just want to make sure I'm preparing and giving these guys my best."

Brown caught four passes for 56 yards and a touchdown in his Patriots debut during Week 2 when New England beat Miami, 43-0. The Patriots play the Jets Sunday in Foxborough, Mass.

NFL rumors: Raiders made 'substantive inquiries' on Jalen Ramsey trade


NFL rumors: Raiders made 'substantive inquiries' on Jalen Ramsey trade

Through two games, the Raiders have allowed the most yards passing in the league. Facing reigning NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes and the rest of the Chiefs' explosive offensive doesn't help, but still.

You know what could help? A 24-year-old All-Pro cornerback in his prime who wants his current team to trade him. 

Jalen Ramsey wants out of Jacksonville and the Raiders could be the perfect match. ESPN's Josina Anderson reported Thursday that the Raiders are one of a handful of teams that have made "substantive inquiries" on a trade for Ramsey. 

Ramsey won't come cheap and likely will cost the Raiders one of their two first-round draft picks next year, but he's worth the hefty price tag. He can be a lot to handle, but so are most great cornerbacks. 

The former No. 5 overall draft pick is the true definition of a shutdown corner. He follows the opposing team's top receiver and causes chaos for a quarterback. Ramsey has nine interceptions in 50 career games and 45 passes defensed. 

With the Raiders moving to Las Vegas following this season, Ramsey already has expressed an interest in playing in Sin City in the past, too. 

[RELATED: Why Raiders should trade for Jalen Ramsey]

Though he's requested a trade, Ramsey is expected play Thursday night for the Jaguars against the Titans. A trade could soon be on the horizon, though. 

Buckle up, Raiders fans.