JaMarcus Russell: Better NFL Prospect Than We Thought?

Much has been made as of late about JaMarcus Russell and how poor of a prospect many fans and analysts feel him to be.

Labeled as the "greatest draft bust in NFL history" by some, Russell has continued to be ridiculed and criticized for both his performance on the field and his behavior off of it.

I'm no apologist and I do not seek to provide the readers with a laundry-list of excuses.

Russell's performance in Oakland after being drafted No. 1 overall in 2007 has been well documented; albeit a bit skewed if the intent is to make an honest evaluation of his performance on the football field.

The knocks against Russell in this regard have been that he was essentially ineffective, unproductive, inaccurate and a weak leader.

Easy criticism to make given how poorly the Raiders performed during his tenure.

But have these generalizations painted the entire picture?

My claim is not for Russell to have been a Pro Bowler in disguise but perhaps...

A better quarterback and potential prospect than most give him credit for.

Absurdity say you?

Take a closer look.


JaMarcus Russell (2007)

36/66 (54.5) for 373 yards (5.7 YPA), two touchdowns and four interceptions.

QB rating: 55.9

Not exactly getting off to a fantastic start, but he only started one game that season, seeing action in four games total. Actually reminds me of another quarterback who got off to a shaky start during his rookie season...


Eli Manning (2004)

95 of 197 (48.2) for 1,043 yards (5.3 YPA), six touchdowns and nine interceptions.

QB rating: 55.4 


Keep in mind, of course, that Eli Manning had the backing of a Pro Bowl running-back in Tiki Barber, a tight-end coming off two consecutive Pro Bowl seasons ...

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