JaMarcus might not have been a consensus number 1 pick but he was certainly a lock for the top ten. He had all the pieces in place; led LSU to a Sugar Bowl win, had a canon arm, and from all accounts was a relatively good teammate by LSU standards. There were no glaring concerns about work ethic until right before the draft when he wouldn't throw at the Combine and weighed in a little heavy at his pro day. But now we see most QBs with a chance to go #1 don't risk a mediocre day throwing at the Combine and opt to throw in a more controlled environment at their pro day. Even the weight thing wasn't a shock because a lot of guys gain some LBs when they are flying all over the country to meet with teams and getting giant steak dinners every night.
It's tough to say that he was a bad pick. What you can say is that he has been terrible as a pro so far. Whether it was his prima donna attitude, absolute zero work ethic, Lane Kiffin's first Head Coaching job, Kiffin's firing 4 games into season 2, Tom Cable's regime, lack of veteran leadership to get him in line, blocking... etc. There were plenty of factors that could have been responsible for his three seasons of awfulness. However, maybe he will find some inspiration in the fact that every male over the age of 12 knows that he was the single biggest draft bust of all time. In my opinion that could be pretty motivating. That is really going to be the deciding factor in whether or not he will turn his career around. Does he want to?
If I were a team that had a good QB around 30 or so with 2 years left on his contract I'd take a shot at coaching up Russell. Why not? If he doesn't work hard and show improvement over this summer just cut him.
The teams that I think could possibly take a shot at him are the Texans, Jaguars, Redskins, and Seahawks. They all have solid QBs in place for at least the next year which would ensure that Russell is only perceived by the fans and media as a developmental prospect not a challenger to start.
How much sense would it make for the Redskins would pick him up by the way? Snyder would love the publicity and it half way makes sense for him to learn from Donovan who I think would be a tremendous mentor to him. But that might not jive with Shannahan. Who I'm sure would hate the move but be forced to accept it from Snyder if it were something that Snyder felt he had to do. Although if he could get his head on straight, I seem to remember Shanahan doing very well with another athlete that had a big arm. Nothing helps that one cut running game more than a wide open secondary with their backs turned chasing receivers down the field.
By the way can we all agree that the first round of the 2007 draft was one of the worst ever? I mean look at all those busts.
1. JaMarcus Russell - Oakland Raiders QB - LSU
5. Levi Brown - Arizona Cardinals OT - Penn State
6. LaRon Landry - Washington Redskins S - LSU
8. Jamal Anderson - Atlanta Falcons DE - Arkansas
9. Ted Ginn Jr. - Miami Dolphins WR - Ohio St
10. Amobi Okoye - Houston Texans DT - Louisville
17. Jarvis Moss - Denver Broncos DE - Florida
20. Aaron Ross - New York Giants S - Texas
21. Reggie Nelson - Jacksonville Jaguars S - Florida
22. Brady Quinn - Cleveland Browns QB - Notre Dame
30. Craig Davis - San Diego Chargers WR - LSU