Before risking their reputations backing Carr, I suggest taking a look at a little draft history. After surveying 21 drafts (1982-2002), I counted a total of 24 first-round quarterbacks (other than Carr) who were "busts" for the franchise that drafted them. I did not consider drafts after 2002 because none of those first-round quarterbacks can be accurately judged at this point.
Here is the "bust" list:
|1982||#4||Art Schlichter||Baltimore Colts|
|1984||Supp.||Steve Young||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|1983||#7||Todd Blackledge||Kansas City Chiefs|
|1986||#12||Chuck Long||Detroit Lions|
|1987||#1||Vinny Testaverde||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|1987||#6||Kelly Stouffer||St. Louis Cardinals|
|1987||#26||Jim Harbaugh||Chicago Bears|
|1990||#1||Jeff George||Indianapolis Colts|
|1990||#7||Andre Ware||Detroit Lions|
|1991||#16||Dan McGwire||Seattle Seahawks|
|1991||#24||Todd Marinovich||Los Angeles Raiders|
|1992||#6||David Klingler||Cincinnati Bengals|
|1992||#25||Tommy Maddox||Denver Broncos|
|1993||#2||Rick Mirer||Seattle Seahawks|
|1994||#4||Heath Shuler||Washington Redskins|
|1994||#6||Trent Dilfer||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||1995||#5||Kerry Collins||Carolina Panthers||1997||#26||Jim Druckenmiller||San Francisco 49ers||1998||#2||Ryan Leaf||San Diego Chargers||1999||#1||Tim Couch||Cleveland Browns||1999||#3||Akili Smith||Cincinnati Bengals||1999||#12||Cade McNown||Chicago Bears||2002||#3||Joey Harrington||Detroit Lions||2002||#32||Patrick Ramsey||Washington Redskins|
Steve Young is the crown jewel of this list. Tampa Bay picked Young in the 1984 supplemental draft even after Young had already signed a then-record $40-million contract with the USFL. After the USFL folded in 1985, Young was in Tampa Bay for two seasons before they ditched him in favor of Vinny Testaverde. Young became Joe Montana's unhappy caddy in San Francisco before reeling off seven Pro Bowl seasons, six league passing titles and a Super Bowl win. He is now in the Hall of Fame.
Of the other 23 quarterbacks, I only consider five to be successful "reclamation" projects: Kerry Collins, Trent Dilfer, Jim Harbaugh, Tommy Maddox and Vinny Testaverde. Of the five, only Testaverde and Collins came close to realizing their first-round "potential" with another team. Testaverde spent nine seasons as the primary starter for the Browns, Ravens, Jets and Cowboys, earning two Pro-Bowl berths. Meanwhile, Collins started seven seasons for the Giants and Raiders, leading the 2000 Giants to the Super Bowl.
The other three earned no more than ephemeral success in a starting role. Dilfer was a caretaker quarterback for the 2000 champion Ravens, but has only earned a starting role in one season since (2005 Browns). Harbaugh had a nice three-year run as "Captain Comeback" for the Colts in the mid-90's, while Tommy Maddox started for two playoff seasons in Pittsburgh (2002-2003).
Jeff George is something of a special case. George did enjoy considerable statistical success as the starting quarterback with three different franchises (Atlanta, Oakland and Minnesota). He had big years in 1995, 1997 and in 1999. Yet, at every stop, George was such a head case no one could tolerate him for long. I don't believe you can consider him a success at any stop because he was so disruptive to team chemistry.
The bottom line: reclamation projects have shown a low success rate in the recent past (25 percent). Even if the risk does pan out, the quarterback play you get in return is likely to be both short-term and mediocre. With this track-record, it's easy to see why aged veterans like Trent Green and Jeff Garcia can command dollars and draft picks on the open market despite being near the end of their careers.