Quarterback Derek Carr has been one of the most under-the-radar quarterbacks in the league since he was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft.
After starting in every game his rookie season, Carr was selected to three-straight Pro Bowls and led his team to its first playoff appearance since the 2002 season in 2016.
That season was the closest Carr has been to hoisting an MVP trophy, as he came in third in the Associated Press' MVP voting.
The quarterback never received any honorable recognition since -- not even another Pro Bowl invite.
But Carr reminded the league what he and the Raiders what his team are capable of when he led them to last season's playoffs against all odds.
Now, even higher expectations have been added to the promising offseason load Las Vegas has brought in.
Adam Schein of NFL Media listed Carr as one of his "dark horses" for the 2022 MVP Award in an article on Tuesday.
Schein, an MVP voter, ranked the Raiders quarterback as his No. 1 dark-horse candidate with 30-1 odds to win the award.
Behind Carr are Indianapolis Colts quarterback Matt Ryan at No. 2, Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry at No. 3, Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa at No. 4, Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson at No. 5, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts at No. 6, Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald at No. 7, Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson at No. 8 and San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance at No. 9.
Schein wrote: "Now Carr has his college bestie, who just so happens to be the best receiver in the game, as the Raiders brilliantly traded for Davante Adams. Carr and Adams are going to make beautiful music together once again, just as they did back at Fresno State. Especially with new head coach Josh McDaniels running the offense.
"These additions will lift the 31-year-old passer from great player to certified star. Carr is going to enjoy a monster season, leading the Raiders to the playoffs again. And doing this in the absurdly loaded AFC West will raise his profile even more."
Should Carr put up the numbers expected of him with one of the best receiving corps in the league while battling to the playoffs through arguably the best division in the NFL, Schein's take could age very well.
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