HOUSTON, April 3 (UPI) -- The NFL expansion Houston Texans announced Wednesday that Fresno State quarterback David Carr will be the first pick in the April 20 draft.
"We are confident that we can reach an agreement with David Carr on a contract," general manager Charley Casserly said. "Therefore, we have informed David and his representative that we will select him with the No. 1 pick."
Carr's agent, Mike Sullivan, helped negotiate a six-year, $62 million contract for Atlanta quarterback Michael Vick, the top overall selection in the 2001 draft, and likely will land a more lucrative deal with the Texans, who have plenty of room under the salary cap.
The announcement as early as 17 days before the draft is unprecedented. NFL teams normally are tight-lipped about their plans to keep options open for possible trades. But the Texans clearly coveted Carr since the combine in February.
"We believe we will be selecting a player in David that possesses all the qualities we are looking for in a player and person," Texans owner Bob McNair said. "Quarterback is the toughest position in football, but our coaches and scouts have been very impressed with David from the start."
With good size at 6-3 and 220 pounds, Carr has a strong arm and gets rid of the ball quickly, although his delivery is sort of sidearm. He led the nation as a senior with 4,308 passing yards and 42 touchdowns, becoming the sixth quarterback in NCAA history to top 4,000 passing yards and 40 scoring tosses in a season. He won the Johnny Unitas Award as the nation's top quarterback and finished fifth in Heisman Trophy voting.
Carr became a starter as a fourth-year junior and completed 63 percent of his passes for 7,849 yards, 70 touchdowns and 23 interceptions in 37 career games.