Just How Good is Brandon Carr?


Just the other day we heard whispers that the Cowboys were interested in Brandon Carr, those particular whispers intrigued me enough to take a look at what kind of ball player Carr really is. Carr has spent all of his short career with the Kansas City Chiefs, and has been more of an under-the-radar corner because he's playing across from one of the best young corners in the league, Brandon Flowers. It's hard to know exactly what kind of player a guy is if he isn't playing a premium skill position, where you can simply go to and look at his stats, so I've taken my research to

According to a recent article on PFF, where they continued their 2012 Free Agent rankings, they listed Carr as the #4 corner on the open market (keep in mind, he could still get tagged, but it's sounds unlikely) listed behind Brent Grimes (Likely to be tagged), Ledarius Webb (RFA), and Cortland Finnegan. Here's what they had to say

4) Brandon Carr
Age as of September 1st, 2012: 26
2011 Grade: +2.7
Key Stat: Allowed fewer than half the targets into his coverage to be complete (39 of 79).
Behind the Numbers: Carr didn’t have the best of seasons last year, but even so, he allowed fewer than half of all balls thrown his way to be complete and got his hands to more than 10 passes. At just 26 when the season starts, he is the youngest free agent option around, and with Stanford Routt just signed in KC, he’s likely to be on the move. Carr has shown to have very good coverage skills and gets to a lot of passes, making him a very attractive option to anybody looking for a long-term answer at corner.

I continued to dig on PFF, because to be honest, I just can't get enough, I absolutely love their work, and use it on a daily basis when I want to know more about "non-skill" players, or those players out there that are hard to judge by stats alone. I found the following chart, which ranked QB completion percentages when targeting particular corners, as you can see, Carr was the 10th best in the league when it came to completions against vs attempts.

Rank Name Team TA Rec % Ct
1 Darrelle Revis NYJ 85 35 41.2
2 Ike Taylor PIT 96 40 41.7
3 Brent Grimes ATL 56 25 44.6
4 Chris Gamble CAR 60 27 45.0
5 Sheldon Brown CLV 76 35 46.1
6 Antonio Cromartie NYJ 84 39 46.4
7 Richard Sherman SEA 84 39 46.4
8 Asante Samuel PHI 61 29 47.5
9 Joe Haden CLV 85 42 49.4
10 Brandon Carr KC 79 39


The next chart I was able to find from PFF focuses on QB rating when throwing to that Corner, as you can see Brandon Carr ranked 8th in the league in 2011 with a 61.7 QB rating against, pretty impressive.

Rank Name Team NFL Rating
1 Darrelle Revis NYJ 45.6
2 Asante Samuel PHI 52.4
3 Chris Gamble CAR 53.3
4 Ike Taylor PIT 54.8
5 Lardarius Webb BLT 56.2
6 Richard Sherman SEA 57.3
7 Patrick Robinson NO 59.3
8 Brandon Carr KC 61.7
9 Carlos Rogers SF 61.9
10 Brent Grimes ATL 62.9

The next chart is information from 2010, as you read above in PFF's analysis of Carr they pointed to the fact that he had a down season in 2011, so I was happy to find the next chart, which gives you a good idea of what kind of player he was a year before. As you can see below, in 2010 Carr was 11th in the league in receptions allowed per coverage snap. According to PFF, Carr was in coverage a total of 700 times in 2010, out of those 700 snaps, he allowed 51 receptions, for a 7.29% reception/cover snap, which is a pretty impressive number.

Rank Player Team Cover Snaps Receptions Allowed REC/COV
1 Nnamdi Asomugha OAK 441 13 2.95%
2 Asante Samuel PHI 446 21 4.71%
3 Darrelle Revis NYJ 592 28 4.73%
4 Sean Smith MIA 448 24 5.36%
5 Rashean Mathis JAX 567 39 6.88%
6 Quentin Jammer SD 576 40 6.94%
7 Bradley Fletcher SL 601 42 6.99%
8 Tramon Williams GB 792 56 7.07%
9 Josh Wilson BLT 451 32 7.10%
10 Sam Shields GB 543 39 7.18%
11 Brandon Carr KC 700 51 7.29%
12 Kelly Jennings SEA 625 46 7.36%
13 Tim Jennings CHI 621 46 7.41%
14 Ike Taylor PIT 763 57 7.47%
15 Corey Webster NYG 576 44 7.64%
16 Stanford Routt OAK 548 42 7.66%
17 Chris Gamble CAR 377 29 7.69%
18 Champ Bailey DEN 489 38 7.77%
19 Leon Hall CIN 563 44 7.82%
20 Vontae Davis MIA 566 45 7.95%

The last chart on the list is one that gives us a very good indication of what Carr did while in coverage, it is very similar to the chart above, but this time PFF included times beaten (receptions), times challenged (thrown at), and opportunities (coverage snaps) to give us their Catch% per Cover snap. What I take away from this chart, is that his receptions allowed vs times thrown at were very similar to 2011, and in my opinion, if I have a corner that is going to allow less than 50% completion, then I am a happy person.

Rank Player Team Receptions Allowed Thrown At Cover Snaps Catch% per Cover Snap
1 Tramon Williams GB 56 123 792 0.0575%
2 Brandon Carr KC 51 111 700 0.0656%
3 Antonio Cromartie NYJ 55 115 683 0.0700%
4 Darrelle Revis NYJ 28 67 592 0.0706%
5 Ike Taylor PIT 57 102 763 0.0732%
6 Stanford Routt OAK 42 99 548 0.0774%
7 Brent Grimes ATL 67 127 668 0.0790%
8 Charles Tillman CHI 67 111 751 0.0804%
9 Brandon Flowers KC 55 109 625 0.0807%
10 Tim Jennings CHI 46 91 621 0.0814%
11 Devin McCourty NE 58 104 685 0.0814%
12 Bradley Fletcher SL 42 82 601 0.0852%
13 Chris Carr BLT 62 100 699 0.0887%
14 Quentin Jammer SD 40 78 576 0.0890%
15 Antoine Cason SD 52 100 562 0.0925%
16 Cortland Finnegan TEN 70 105 713 0.0935%
17 Charles Woodson GB 56 91 658 0.0935%
18 Corey Webster NYG 44 81 576 0.0943%
19 Kelly Jennings SEA 46 78 625 0.0944%
20 Ronald Bartell SL 50 96 548 0.0950%

So if we look at the 2011 charts vs. the 2010 charts, and compare his completion percentage, we find that in 2011 he allowed 49.3% completions in 2011 and 45.1% in 2010, so there was a minimal drop in his completions allowed per target, but not enough to scoff at, and still less than 50%.

In conclusion, I want to add one more thing, too many times I hear the argument of "If he's such a good player, then why would (insert team) let him go?" Well that's the beauty of PFF, they help to eliminate that question, and offer a better perspective and an unbiased look at what these guys are doing week in and week out, especially for a player on a team who you rarely get a chance to watch, and don't really know enough about to offer an educated opinion on him. I believe these charts give us a good idea of what kind of player Dallas would be paying, and considering they will probably be paying a premium price for him, given the fact that he's young, talented, and at the top of the free agent market, I believe it would be money well spent.

(All information was gathered from

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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