OT: JaMarcus Russell

Submitted by artds on April 29th, 2010 at 1:21 PM

How could so many teams, scouts and analysts have been so wrong?

Granted, he was drafted by Al Davis, but lets not pretend that he wasn't the near-consensus #1 QB on draft boards in 2007.

You'd think these guys would have this stuff down to a science by now.


Dark Blue

April 29th, 2010 at 1:27 PM ^

Sometimes a player has terrible work ethic and won't devot the time and energy neccesary to be a big time pro. I think this may be the case with Russell.


April 29th, 2010 at 1:58 PM ^

It's impossible to evaluate how a certain kid will react when signing a contract worth 50+ million dollars.  That type of thing can have many different effects on different people, sometimes it gives them motivation to prove they're worth it, sometimes it makes them think they've already made it and no longer have to put in the work.  

Also, I have a problem with the players who hold out after being drafted.  That says something, I think.  Maybe it's not as correlative as I think, but to me it says something.


April 29th, 2010 at 1:29 PM ^

well his college play wasnt entirely horrific. i dont think anyone would have guessed he would be so awful. scouts and analysts will never be 100 percent correct, now matter how close Mel Kiper is to being Robert Goulet.


April 29th, 2010 at 1:41 PM ^

Agreed, but its one thing to say that a 1st-rounder should have been a mid-to-late rounder in retrospect, or to say a mid-to-late rounder should have gone undrafted.

But its quite another for the concensus #1 pick to turn out to not even have the level of talent needed to play in the league.

The buzz all week has been that Russell mad end up dethroning Leaf.


April 29th, 2010 at 1:30 PM ^

IIRC, he wasn't supposed to be the top QB in the draft.  But after the college season ended, he jumped with his "measurables" and his arm strength.  I think there were questions about his conditioning and QB-intelligence.  It exposes a huge weakness in the people who make decisions based heavily on the combine and individual workouts.  Essentially he worked his ass off to do well in, essentially, 2 major workouts and shot up the draft board.  Hindsight is 20/20, but I really don't ever remember thinking "This guy could be a hotshot in the NFL" based on his college game.


April 29th, 2010 at 3:28 PM ^

I really think NFL coaches and GM's are finally beginning to take the combine for what it is, supplementary information. After repeatedly being burned by these so-called combine freaks, they are finally focusing on players that have had great production like B Graham, and judging him by his play first, measurables second.


April 29th, 2010 at 1:30 PM ^

The man has all the measurables to be a great nfl qb, but like Dark Blue said, he just doesn't have the work ethic or devotion needed to reach his potential. Talent will only get you so far...


April 29th, 2010 at 1:32 PM ^

There are any number of things that could contribute to players not living up to their hype/potential.  The huge leap in quality of the competition and how players respond to the increase in personal responsibility are just the first two the popped into my head.

Scouts obviously consider these things, but it's just a matter of not being 100%.  I don't know much about Russell specifically, but scouts probably just over estimated how well they thought he'd transition.  Humans are complicated (and thus somewhat unpredictable) animals.

Now someone like Charles Rogers, on the other hand, should have had a massive red flag waving over his head since his high school days.


April 29th, 2010 at 1:35 PM ^

i think it's simple really. people get lost in the idea that great physical ability wins out. turns out that in the pros, especially at QB, you have to have it between the ears to go along with good physical talent.


April 29th, 2010 at 2:20 PM ^

A   G   QBRat Comp Att Pct Yds Y/G Y/A TD Int   Rush Yds Y/G Avg TD   Sack YdsL   Fum FumL  
    15   63.0 196 364 53.8 2444 162.9 6.7 12 20   36 106 7.1 2.9 3   26 195   10 3  
B   G   QBRat Comp Att Pct Yds Y/G Y/A TD Int   Rush Yds Y/G Avg TD   Sack YdsL   Fum FumL  
    15   77.1 198 368 53.8 2423 161.5 6.6 13 8   17 127 8.5 7.5 1   31 210   12 7  



Look at the above lines.  one is Jamarcus Russell, 2008-2009 (He only played in 4 games in year 1).  The other line is Mark Sanchez, 2009-10.  Who is A and who is B?


And let's keep in mind that the Jets had a competent rushing game and defense last year.  I'm not sure you can say that about Oakland.


April 29th, 2010 at 2:24 PM ^

Yes, I think Mark Sanchez is very overrated.  I can tell the top line is his simply because of the INT's, he threw 5 alone in one game.  The Jets had a pretty solid team last year, they would have made the playoffs with just about anyone at QB.


April 29th, 2010 at 1:58 PM ^

How hard will a player work in the weight room and studying film once they're given $40million.

Yet another reason why it's stupid to pay rookies more money than established veterans. I really, really hope they are able to pass a rookie wage scale.


April 29th, 2010 at 2:01 PM ^

Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't really trust schools/programs/coaches that haven't put out good quarterbacks in the past.  Therefore, I never really trusted LSU and Jamarcus Russell.  When's the last time LSU put out a good NFL quarterback?

I know it's a flawed theory, but I don't think there's a perfect theory out there.  I'd pick a quarterback coached by Pete Carroll or Lloyd Carr before picking a guy who had been coached by some Joe Schmoe with no pedigree.

His Dudeness

April 29th, 2010 at 2:05 PM ^

It's all about incentives. In his mind he had done all those workouts in college for the big pay day on draft day. If you want to be great in the NFL you have to want to be great, not want to make a great deal of money.


April 29th, 2010 at 4:25 PM ^

His stats were very good, but how many times did you hear the phrase "watch out for LSU because JaMarcus Russell will kill you."  In comparison to Ryan Leaf, Leaf looked way more impressive as a passer in college than Russell did.  Vince Young also looked way more impressive in college than Russell and wasn't 1st overall.