Jordy Nelson only played one season with the Raiders, but the receiver still is defending their franchise quarterback.
In what seems like a recurring theme, Derek Carr went through an offseason full of questions and criticism. Despite throwing for a career-high 4,054 yards last season, rumors swirled of the Raiders targeting Tom Brady in free agency or even using one of their two first-round draft picks on a QB. So, is the negative noise fair?
Nelson had a quick answer to that question.
"No, no it's not," Nelson said on "The Pat McAfee Show." "Guy's extremely smart, very talented, works extremely hard. Can make the throws, does it all."
Nelson finished his career with Carr as his quarterback in 2018. He played 15 games, caught 63 passes for 739 receiving yards and three touchdowns. Carr clearly made a strong impression on him after Nelson spent the first decade of his NFL career with Aaron Rodgers.
The former Pro Bowl receiver likens Carr's career to another QB who used to play in the Bay Area, too.
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"I think he's been in a tough situation. I think it's similar to what Alex Smith dealt with on the 49ers of just constantly rotating through coaches and offensive coordinators, which means a whole new scheme," Nelson said. "Yeah, [Carr's] smart enough to pick it all up and be able to run it, but it's getting all the offensive linemen on the same page, getting all the running backs, the receivers, the tight ends."
The Raiders selected Carr in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Since then, he has played under four head coaches -- Dennis Allen, Tony Sparano, Jack Del Rio and Jon Gruden -- in six seasons, along with multiple offensive coordinators.
Smith was taken with the No. 1 pick in the 2005 NFL Draft, and also played under four head coaches -- Mike Nolan, Mike Singletary, Jim Tomsula and Jim Harbaugh -- in seven seasons with the 49ers.
Nelson didn't only point to coaching changes, too. He believes the Raiders' constant roster shuffling has put Carr at a disadvantage as well.
"It hardly seems like [the Raiders] keep guys for long terms," Nelson said. "They're very short. So he's constantly dealing with new receivers. ... It makes a difference when you're not able to keep that chemistry from Year 1 to Year 8 to 10, and every two years you're constantly swapping guys out to get any sort of rhythm."
Through it all, Carr has been a solid quarterback for the Silver and Black. The front office gave him more weapons in the NFL draft, and he should be primed for a big year as the Raiders begin their next chapter in Las Vegas.