Cornerback Deveron Carr didn’t get an invite to the NFL Scouting Combine or hear his name called on draft day, but nothing has slowed the former Arizona State standout from realizing his NFL dream.
Carr was one of several rookies who impressed during Bucs rookie mini-camp this past weekend.
“We targeted him as one of the guys that we wanted, if he didn’t get drafted, to recruit as a free agent and it worked out well,” said Bucs head coach Greg Schiano.
“He’s long, he can run well, plays press-coverage very well. We need to work on him with his own techniques and some off stuff, but real nice prospect to work with.”
The Bucs signed Carr as a free agent immediately after the draft, and did so with high expectations. He received a $15,000 signing bonus – a significant amount compared to other undrafted free agent contracts.
Carr drew interest from five other teams besides Tampa Bay – Oakland, San Diego, Atlanta, St. Louis, and New Orleans. He said the Bucs situation was appealing for a number of reasons, including an opportunity to compete but also to learn from Darrelle Revis.
“That’s a great opportunity for a guy like me because I love to play man-press and he’s the best in the game at man-press.”
Carr has had to adjust to the style the Bucs coaches asked him to play, a bell technique, which involves more intricate movements than the shuffling and back-pedaling he grew acustomed to in college.
“They make us turn to 5, to 7, and then you read three-step and then you clear the five-step and get your eyes back on your man,” said Carr, who struggled initially but believes he got better with persistence and staying positive.
“Every day that I came out here, I wanted to work to perfect that technique and I feel like I’m taking a step closer and closer to perfecting it every single day.”
It’s that same mentality that helped Carr channel his frustration of not getting invited to the combine. Training became his outlet.
“I would say, like Ray Lewis, I was pissed off for greatness.”
Carr put together a fantastic pro day, running a 4.36 and 4.38 in his two 40-yard dash attempts.
“I was looking forward to pro day. That was my day, and I was most definitely going to steal that day. That was an opportunity and I wanted to grasp that opportunity in every positive way that I could.”
It appears he’s ready to do that at the next level too.
Listen to some audio from Deveron Carr’s talk with the media here.