"I can't remember being in such awe of a quarterback in my decade of attending combines and pro days. Russell's passing session was the most impressive of all the pro days I've been to. His footwork for such a big quarterback was surprising. He was nimble in his dropbacks, rolling out and throwing on the run. The ball just explodes out of his hands."
NFL Draft A Quarterback Crapshoot - by Raiderlegend
Above is what one of the expert football analysts said years back about an unproven young quarterback named Russell coming out of the draft. No, this wasn't the prediction for the small of stature recent super bowl winner Russell Wilson, quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks. This was a Russell of an entirely different mold. A quarterback who stood 6'5 and weighed 223lbs coming out of high school. A quarterback who could throw 70 yards from a kneeling position. A quarterback who's unbelievable workout was called "star wars" by former Raiders coach Jon Gruden. Jon "Chucky" Gruden....
This was all the talk before heading into the 2007 draft. ESPN, now with the benefit of hindsight, looked back on twelve quotes from the experts heading into the 2007 NFL Draft. As a Raiders fan both then and now, I learned two lessons from the #1 draft pick of the Raiders that year; 1> Expert analysis/prediction is a crock 90% of the time 2>Irregardless of talent there's no way to predict the success or failure of a college quarterback entering the NFL.
You may be wondering just who the heck am I to rebuff the word of so-called football experts? I am the fan who witnessed first hand the Russell that was said to have thrown the football with a strength unheard of and marveled experts with his fantastic footwork for a big man. I am the fan who sat and watched this football Adonis fail miserably over and over in a #2 silver and black jersey. I watched and waited, for all the great expert predictions about this Russell to come to fruition.
After a few years I and the rest of Raider Nation knew that the experts had sold us a bag of damaged goods.The fresh sparkling fruit penned with the #1 draft pick ribbon was rotten inside. It never fully developed and had to be thrown out of the Raiders barrel for fear of spoiling the whole bunch. It didn't matter to onlookers what caused its insides to rot, the fact was that big money was spent and expectations were through the ceiling. There came a time to cut bait.
By now, most reading this know of whom I speak. The Russell who left his rotten mark on my Oakland Raiders never even came close to the expert predictions and expectations. He might have had the potential at one point, but something got inside his head and caused his skills to simply rot away.
I learned from no other than LSU's Jamarcus Russell, to trust absolutely 10% of what any and everybody says about the draft class coming into the NFL any given season. Each has the potential to be great. Most will prove to have one and done NFL seasons. At least one that shined so bright in college will be a complete bust. And a few of the strangest fruits deep down in the barrel will outshine the entire draft bunch.
I owe Jamarcus Russell a thank you. Because of him I no longer get too caught up in the NFL draft class and expert analysis. Because of that kneeling bomb throwing freak, I give my full attention to college and pro basketball along with pro baseball spring training, instead of watching the draft board fluctuate. And because of JR I cannot be baited into discussing with friends what college player should go to what pro team. I am the unfortunate 'fool me once' recipient who refuses to carry the twice fooled label of shame.
I am a reformed draft day enthusiast who lost his draft passion with one bite of rotten fruit.
And with the fifth pick of the first round the Oakland Raiders Select!!!
Read More: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/multimedia/photo_gallery/1005/nfl.jamarcus.russell.hype/content.1.html#ixzz2uqgzu6Y7