clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Ceiling and the Floor: Derek Carr

Exploring the outcomes of the Derek Carr signing.

New Orleans Saints Introduce Quarterback Derek Carr Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

New Orleans Saints quarterback Derek Carr has consistently been one of the most underrated QBs in the entire league. In his nine-year career, he’s averaged 3,913 yards, 24 touchdowns and 11 interceptions per season with a 64.6% completion percentage. He’s been one of the most consistent QBs and has always been dragged down by a subpar defense. Now, with new scenery and an array of weapons, let’s take a look into Carr’s ceiling and floor for the 2023 season.


Carr’s best season of his career came in 2021 where he passed for 4,804 yards, 23 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. In that season, his offensive weapons included Darren Waller, Hunter Renfrow, Bryan Edwards, Zay Jones and Josh Jacobs. He also did all of this with all of the Jon Gruden drama going on mid-season.

Compare that to the 2023 Saints offense which consists of Michael Thomas, Chris Olave, Juwan Johnson, Alvin Kamara, Rashid Shaheed and more, and I’d say that’s an upgrade. Although Carr had a down year in 2022, I think he’s primed to return to his former self this season.

Carr has stated multiple times that he feels rejuvenated and that coming to New Orleans is ‘a breath of fresh air.’ With new coaches, new weapons and a change of scenery, Carr is ready to show the rest of the league he isn’t going anywhere.

I see Carr’s absolute ceiling as a top-5 QB in the NFL statistically. To reach that mark, he would need to hit about 4,600 yards, 30-35 touchdowns with less than seven interceptions.

He’s eclipsed the 4,600-yard mark one time in his career back in 2021 and he’s also only thrown for 30 touchdowns once all the way back in his sophomore season in 2015. Like I said earlier, now that he has a real defense and more weapons than he’s ever had in Vegas, I don’t think it’s ridiculous to think he could hit these marks if everything goes right.


Carr’s worst season as a pro came in 2017 when he passed for 3,496 yards, 22 touchdowns and 13 interceptions as the Raiders went 6-10 and missed the playoffs. Their leading receiver was Amari Cooper who went for 680 yards and Jared Cook led all pass catchers with 688 yards.

If everything falls apart for the Saints, we could see a similar season from Carr in 2023. Knock on wood, but if Kamara’s suspension is longer than expected, MT misses another season and Chris Olave has a sophomore slump, it could be another disappointing year for Saints fans. If worse comes to worst, I think Carr will still hit that 3,500-yard mark, but the touchdowns could dip to that 22-25 range.

Luckily for the Saints, a mixture of Jameis Winston, Andy Dalton and Taysom Hill still combined to throw 24 touchdowns last season, and I think we can all agree it would be hard for the Saints to play as bad on offense as they did in 2022.

We’ll see how it all pans out in the end, but I think we can expect Carr to be closer to his ceiling numbers than his floor this season.

Make sure you follow Canal Street Chronicles on Twitter at @SaintsCSC, “Like” us on Facebook at Canal Street Chronicles, and make sure you’re subscribed to our YouTube channel. Follow my personal page @clukehubbard for more!