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Brian Billick offers a cautionary tale on JaMarcus Russell

Image (1) jamarcus-russell-20jpg-2c6017157335872c_medium.jpg for post 73215 Getty Images

Few teams have drafted as well as the Ravens in recent years. But in a reminder of just how hard it is to get draft evaluations right every time, the former coach of the Ravens said this morning that one of the biggest draft busts in history was also the player the Ravens liked the best.

Brian Billick said on ESPN Radio that in his nine years as head coach of the Ravens, the highest grade Baltimore ever had on any player heading into the draft was in 2007, and the player wasn’t that year’s No. 2 overall pick, Calvin Johnson. It was that year’s No. 1 overall pick, JaMarcus Russell.

“We did a pretty decent job, and obviously they continue to do a phenomenal job in Baltimore, with Ozzie Newsome and his group,” Billick said. “JaMarcus Russell was the highest-rated player I’ve ever seen on any of our boards. So we all missed on JaMarcus Russell. Make no mistake.”

Billick (who will be a guest on Friday’s PFT Live) compared the way Russell shot up draft boards in the spring of 2007 to the way Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill is shooting up draft boards this year. Billick wasn’t suggesting that Tannehill will bust like Russell did, but he was saying that teams can sometimes fall in love with players for reasons other than what happened on the field during their college careers. And the Ravens certainly fell in love with Russell.

The reality is the Ravens knew they weren’t going to draft Russell: Baltimore went 13-3 the year before and had the 29th pick in the draft, and they were gearing up for another playoff run with quarterback Steve McNair while still hoping McNair’s young backup, Kyle Boller, would develop into a quality NFL starter some day. The Ravens probably gave that high grade to Russell without digging too deep because they knew he wouldn’t be coming to Baltimore.

But still: There are no sure things in the NFL draft. And if there’s a player you think might be, just remember that JaMarcus Russell once looked like a sure thing, too.

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109 Responses to “Brian Billick offers a cautionary tale on JaMarcus Russell”
  1. sportsmeccabi says: Apr 12, 2012 8:41 AM

    We all thought this guy would be one of the best.

  2. wewantmoretebowandfavrearticles says: Apr 12, 2012 8:41 AM

    Teams always reach on quarterbacks and give them undeserved first round grades on “potential.” Teams want to talk about character and intangibles but when Tannehill’s team was down in games last year he failed to lead them back. When the going got rough, he couldn’t step it up. He lost to the freaking LONGHORNS in his own house. Did you see how bad that team was last year and he couldn’t lead his team to a win? And teams are talking about taking this guy at -THREE-? Are you kidding me? It’s a joke. This guy is not a game changer, he’s not a difference maker, he’s not an elite quarterback either in college or as a prospect. He will be a bust in the NFL and I feel sorry for the franchise that is dumb enough to flush their first round pick down the toilet taking a chance on this guy.

  3. tharoostah says: Apr 12, 2012 8:41 AM

    Nothing against the 2 guys going 1 & 2, they both seem great. But history and stats say chances are one of the two will be a bust. I’m guessing its the one who most resembles a caveman from a certain commercial.

  4. east96st says: Apr 12, 2012 8:42 AM

    And Victor Cruz went undrafted. We get it. That’s why draft “experts” are nothing but three card monte dealers in a suit and a tie and grading the draft right after it happens is the biggest lie since “I’ll always love you” and “the check is in the mail”.

  5. spellingcopfather says: Apr 12, 2012 8:43 AM

    I think if Russell was taken 29th he might have been a diffrent player, he would not have seen so much up front money!!!

  6. taintedsaints2009 says: Apr 12, 2012 8:43 AM

    “He is the next John Elway.”

    Mel Kiper, on JaMarcus Russell, seconds after being drafted #1.

  7. ravenator says: Apr 12, 2012 8:43 AM

    Ozzie > Colbert

  8. cleverbob says: Apr 12, 2012 8:44 AM

    Has anyone asked for Tannehill’s position on recreational cough syrup consumption?

  9. Land Snark says: Apr 12, 2012 8:45 AM

    You mean Billick might have gotten a QB draft pick wrong?

    Say it ain’t so! He scored a real gem in Kyle Boller!

    Couldn’t miss with Elvis Grbac in free agency! Yeah.

    Listening to Billick talk about drafting is a bit like hearing Mr. Magoo talk about his favorite swimsuit model.

  10. snowpea84 says: Apr 12, 2012 8:46 AM

    I cannot agree that Russell looked that good coming out. Lots of tools, but not such impressive results. His scouting report did not read like the scouting report of previously succesful players.
    Was he worth a first round pick, in this league with teams desperate to take a shot on a QB? Yes.
    Was he worth the risk involved with the first overall pick? Not even close.

  11. nyyjetsknicks says: Apr 12, 2012 8:46 AM

    When your qb is the same weight as you left tackle, you have a problem.

  12. outsiderj says: Apr 12, 2012 8:47 AM

    @sportsmeccabi

    No, we most CERTAINLY did not.

  13. biggerballz says: Apr 12, 2012 8:48 AM

    Same thing happened with Cam Newton last year and look how that turned out. Drafting is 75% luck but GMs’ don’t want to admit that.

  14. gottaplan says: Apr 12, 2012 8:50 AM

    JaMarcus could have been and should have been a very good QB, dude just didn’t want to work at it. All the skills, all the tools, no heart! Just like Leaf– bad character, no work ethic. Put Drew Brees heart in him and you have a hall of famer. So if Tannehill wants to put his “time” in there is no reason he ends up like Russell!

  15. blancanieve00 says: Apr 12, 2012 8:51 AM

    Most teams that year would of taken Russell with the #1 pick unfortunately for my team the Raiders they had the first pick in the draft that year and it was a position of need for them. So my point in all of this is the only mistake the Raiders made was having the first pick in the draft that year.

  16. spungy says: Apr 12, 2012 8:51 AM

    If the Ravens had taken Russell he would have fallen down two flights of stairs before taking the first snap.

  17. Henry says: Apr 12, 2012 8:53 AM

    “….teams can sometimes fall in love with players for reasons other than what happened on the field during their college careers”

    Sort of like the way the Jets fell in love with Sanchez?

  18. cometkazie says: Apr 12, 2012 8:54 AM

    sportsmeccabi says:
    Apr 12, 2012 8:41 AM
    We all thought this guy would be one of the best.
    +=+=+

    A lot of LSU fans thought Russell would not do well as he was a “Run down the field and I will get the ball to you” sort of QB.

    His backup at LSU has certainly done a whole lot better.

  19. hobbstweedle says: Apr 12, 2012 8:54 AM

    Just because Brian the Brain missed on Russell doesn’t mean everyone else did, too. Matter of fact, I seem to remember Billick missing on a few QBs in his time. Still, the moral of the story is the same – I admit that. But just because it comes from Billick doesn’t mean it carries greater weight – not by a long shot.

  20. christiandrew25 says: Apr 12, 2012 8:55 AM

    Where’s the story about good ole Merrill Hodgson’s idea to fire Sean Payton?

  21. i, flounder says: Apr 12, 2012 8:56 AM

    wewantmoretebowandfavrearticles says: Apr 12, 2012 8:41 AM

    Teams always reach on quarterbacks and give them undeserved first round grades on “potential.” Teams want to talk about character and intangibles but when Tannehill’s team was down in games last year he failed to lead them back. When the going got rough, he couldn’t step it up. He lost to the freaking LONGHORNS in his own house. Did you see how bad that team was last year and he couldn’t lead his team to a win? And teams are talking about taking this guy at -THREE-? Are you kidding me? It’s a joke. This guy is not a game changer, he’s not a difference maker, he’s not an elite quarterback either in college or as a prospect. He will be a bust in the NFL and I feel sorry for the franchise that is dumb enough to flush their first round pick down the toilet taking a chance on this guy.

    So, you’re saying the Dolphins will draft him?

  22. realbenrush says: Apr 12, 2012 8:56 AM

    There is a difference in drafting for need, and drafting out of desperation.

    Drafting Tannehill in the 1st Round would be the latter, such thing sets teams back too many years.

    You didn’t see Detriot freak out and draft Brady Quinn in 2007, or Joe Flacco in 2008. They desperately needed a QB but knew that it wasn’t the best time for a QB. Now a team that looked to never come out of the hole, is now a young, playoff driven team.

    HTTR.

  23. linvillegorge says: Apr 12, 2012 8:57 AM

    For a guy who was supposed to be a very good offensive mind, he sure coached some terrible offensive teams and made some awful decisions at the QB position.

  24. scottieplongballs says: Apr 12, 2012 8:58 AM

    Character should be the biggest concern when looking into a first round pick. Bad character usually means poor work ethic, locker room cancer, and bust. At least the 2 QB’s coming out this year don’t have character concerns.

  25. vahawker says: Apr 12, 2012 8:58 AM

    Ray Lewis would gotten a hold of JaMarcus and scared him straight.

  26. igglesfan says: Apr 12, 2012 9:01 AM

    I agree with tharoostah. There has been all this talk about how much teams value their first round picks, yet so many of them (more than half) become busts.

    This is why it is surprising to me that there hasn’t been more movement on the Mike Wallace front. I know he is asking for too much right now but if you can work with his agent and get it down to something sucessful now you have a Pro Bowl WR rather than rolling the dice and being set back for years.

  27. theandy59 says: Apr 12, 2012 9:01 AM

    This doesn’t surprise me. Baltimore evaluates QB’s the way the Patriots evaluate WR’s – they suck at it.

  28. fwippel says: Apr 12, 2012 9:01 AM

    I have to admit to being very surprised to hear this.

    There were two players from that draft whom most experts thought worthy of the top pick in 2007: Adrian Peterson and Calvin Johnson.

    Meanwhile, Russell was seen as more of a boom or bust type of QB. I always thought Al Davis was too enamored with Russell to be objective. Davis loved the long bomb offense, and Russell had the arm for it. I don’t think too many ‘experts’ were all that surprised that Russell didn’t pan out.

  29. nolahxc says: Apr 12, 2012 9:02 AM

    Anyone who actually followed LSU football knew what was up with this guy.

  30. seanpmaher says: Apr 12, 2012 9:04 AM

    where JM gettin’ his drank on at?

  31. kingfish4242 says: Apr 12, 2012 9:04 AM

    Far be it from me to question choices made by NFL scouts. I’m just a fan and those guys do this for a living. I’ll be the first to admit those guys have more football knowledge in their pinky finger than I have in my whole body.

    That said, I’m a Saints and LSU fan and I still don’t know what these people saw in Russell to make him the first overall pick in the draft. Most Tiger fans like myself saw him as a 3rd round prospect.

    History has show just because a QB can throw the ball 70 yards on their knees it doesn’t make them a great Qb. David Klingler and Jeff George are good examples. Arm strength is important,but way overrated in my opinion.

    For whatever reason,some scouts become enamored with a strong arm. I’ll never forget the scouting report on Akili Smith. The only positive I read was ” Can throw the ball on a rope 50 yards playing in wind”. There was nothing about intangibles like leading his team to a winning score with less than 2 minutes remaining,or is quick to go through his progressions etc etc.

    We also knew Russell was dumb as a bag of rocks. Showing up stoned and dressed in Alabama Crimson tide gear at the Sugar Bowl following his last year at LSU should have been a clear warning sign to NFL front offices.

    In closing, if the only good thing you can say about any Qb prospect is he has a strong arm,don’t mortgage your teams future on him. Take chances in later rounds.

  32. realtimeeyes says: Apr 12, 2012 9:08 AM

    I saw his press conference when he announced entering the draft.. To this day, I have never heard a player talk about “getting paid” so openly. I knew then: this guy is a bust!

  33. weswelkerspornstash says: Apr 12, 2012 9:11 AM

    It would have been a different story if Jamarcus “Purple Drank” Russell had gone to a franchise with stability. Obviously the kid needed some structure.

  34. starfan79 says: Apr 12, 2012 9:13 AM

    I never liked him, the only thing I liked out of him was the arm strength. Where is he anyway?

  35. bigwinintx says: Apr 12, 2012 9:14 AM

    Had he not have had the cold syrup addiction, lack of eating control and actually gave a damn about anything, he MIGHT have been something.
    But as it turns out, he couldn’t push himself to the gym and couldn’t push himself away from the table.

    Wasted talent and manhood.

  36. nfl1818 says: Apr 12, 2012 9:14 AM

    It helps to get some coaching once drafted. Another thing is the best drafting teams have always picked in the bottom half so haven’t had the high profile head case boom bust types available in top ten. See gb, ne, Pitts, Balt, NYC, etc.

  37. 49erstim says: Apr 12, 2012 9:18 AM

    For some reason I’m not in the mood for JaMarkus bashing today. This case shows that you must do your homework all around. The investments made in these KIDS demands due diligence. The Raiders are equally culpable for his status as a bust. Al loved the freaks and a dude that could fire a football like a cannon.

  38. kleppnasty says: Apr 12, 2012 9:18 AM

    wewantmore…..

    I agree, I don’t understand why everyone is all over Tannehill like he’s anything more than just Gabbert 2.0. I think the Chiefs will “land” him at 11, and that is too early. Also, the Osweiler talk is getting insane. Tannehill couldn’t beat Texas, Osweiler couldn’t even lead his team to a winning record in THE PAC 12 SOUTH!!! How is that possible? The guy is a 4-5th round prospect at best, and even then, why would you take a guy with a losing record in college to do anything in the NFL?

  39. dvdman123 says: Apr 12, 2012 9:20 AM

    If anyone actually watched JaMarcus Russell at LSU they would known that he was not ” a sure thing” at all. There were red flags everywhere but the so called experts where all too giddy about his physical presence and totally ignored everything else.

  40. mavajo says: Apr 12, 2012 9:21 AM

    Wait, so you mean being a quarterback requires more than simply having a cannon arm? Shocking!

    Billick acts like the Russell bust was completely unforeseeable. Ridiculous. Teams fell in love with Russell’s arm strength, to the point where people ignored other things about him. The signs were out there. Plenty of scouts pointed out how raw Russell was , that he was bad under pressure, that he used his arm strength to compensate for bad decision-making, etc.

  41. ubummer says: Apr 12, 2012 9:25 AM

    JaMarcus Russell had all the tools to be an all time great, but he had character flaws and was just good enough to hide those flaws until he got a huge pile of money. Anybody who tries to claim now they knew Rusell would be a bust is just a dam liar.

  42. mjbulls45 says: Apr 12, 2012 9:26 AM

    LISTEN!!!!

    al needed a QB coming into the draft after a 2-14 year,

    it was btw Russell and BRady Quinn,

    all the QBS in that class ended up being awful,

    u cant blame Al for needing a QB, and seeing Mel Kiper #1 big board player all the POTENTIAL JAMARCUS, he can “throw 60 yrds” from his knees , etc…

    blame a lot on Jamarcus agent for being greedy in the holdout, Lane kiffin , the drugs, Russell inner circle, etc…

    Al Davis did everything for a young man to make it in this league, Jamarcus chose another direction,

    it is what it is.

  43. preventoffense says: Apr 12, 2012 9:26 AM

    If everyone followed the “history tells us” mantra, nobody would start a small business and eventually create some of companies that currently employ millions. History tells us that a very high percentage of start ups fail so it is not worth it.

    Blah, blah, blah. Ask Drew Brees. History tells us someone of his physical stature cannot be a successful QB in the NFL.

    Or to simplify this – history is constantly being written.

  44. drshakedown74 says: Apr 12, 2012 9:28 AM

    Actually…..Calvin Johnson was way more of a sure thing and impressive on the field in college. He excelled with mediocre QB’s. All I ever heard about JaMarcus leading up to the draft was how far he could throw it, oh, and how far he could throw from his knees…………please. Calvin was throwing guys off him like gnats, a man among boys.

  45. nflofficeadmin says: Apr 12, 2012 9:29 AM

    The odds are slim that both of the top two players will become standout QBs in the NFL. Colts – choose wisely.

  46. gmen1987 says: Apr 12, 2012 9:30 AM

    JeMarcus Russell had so many red flags going up on him in the 2007 draft. Bad work ethic, overweight. No way should he have been the number one pick that year. Senile Al just fallen in love with the big arm.

    Neither Andrew Luck or RGIII has the red flags JeMarcus Russell had.

  47. skins21 says: Apr 12, 2012 9:32 AM

    Scouts gushed over Russell’s measurables and his pro-day but I don’t remember hearing from many that he was sure thing. In fact, I remember most people saying that he was being overrated based on him/LSU crushing a terrible Notre Dame team in a meaningless bowl game.

  48. Patskrieg dot com says: Apr 12, 2012 9:34 AM

    The same Baltimore Ravens that year after year prove they don’t know how to evaluate quarterback talent bought into one of the most obvious draft busts ever?

    I’m shocked.

  49. randallflagg52 says: Apr 12, 2012 10:01 AM

    @Patskrieg dot com

    How’s Kevin O’Connell working out for you, or how about Ryan Mallett? Was he even active for his games last season?

    Don’t throw stones if you live in a glass house, the patriots have been the joke of the NFL at drafting the last couple years. A starting calibre player every other year or so and people somehow over look the complete busts they pick (Cunningham, Wheatley, O’Connell, Dowling, Butler, the entire 07 draft etc, etc)

  50. markwri says: Apr 12, 2012 10:02 AM

    Who knows really? If he were drafted by another team and placed in a different environment, if he would have been a better player? Not saying a hall of famer, and I’m not diss’ing the Raiders. But perhaps a better person and or player. If he got to watch Peyton Manning prepare, or experince Tom Brady’s desire to always win or sit behind Drew Brees and watch what it takes. Maybe he would have gotten it.

    Who knows?

  51. bmwaldrop says: Apr 12, 2012 10:06 AM

    I never thought Russell was worth the #1 pick. But he could have been a good QB if he had put in the effort. But he was lazy and got fat….the rest is history.

  52. govtminion says: Apr 12, 2012 10:08 AM

    gottaplan says: Apr 12, 2012 8:50 AM

    JaMarcus could have been and should have been a very good QB, dude just didn’t want to work at it. All the skills, all the tools, no heart! Just like Leaf– bad character, no work ethic. Put Drew Brees heart in him and you have a hall of famer. So if Tannehill wants to put his “time” in there is no reason he ends up like Russell!
    —————————

    If you put Drew Brees’ heart in JaMarcus Russell, Brees’ heart would clog up in twenty minutes.

  53. therealsmiley says: Apr 12, 2012 10:13 AM

    No one knows how these draft picks will play out. Including the dopes posting on this website. It’s hit or miss. Hail!

  54. thedereknelson says: Apr 12, 2012 10:20 AM

    Russell is the player that ruined Al Davis’ legacy. Think about it. Every time anyone brings up Davis’ fault, number 1 or 2 is Russell.

  55. dougydougdoug says: Apr 12, 2012 10:24 AM

    You can’t discount the fact that Russell was drafted by arguably (no, not Cincinnati) the WORST team in the NFL – almost in all North American pro sports. How could anyone succeed on a team that set records for losing streaks and penalties over the last decade?

    Don’t take this as me giving that waste of flesh a pass on being a waste of flesh. I just wanted to take the opportunity to kick the Raiders some more, while they’re still down.

  56. thraiderskin says: Apr 12, 2012 10:34 AM

    Wow… some of you are so full of it. Jamarcus Russell was clearly the highest rated QB that year and every single last analyst agreed that you never pass up on a possible franchise quarterback. There were red flags, but there are flags on every quarterback out there. Even Tom Brady couldn’t win the starting job outright at Michigan. Payton Manning had almost no mobility, Brees was too short, Rodgers was a tedford QB in the mold of joey harrington, Flacco played inferior competition. They all had red flags, some of them large ones. When people talk like their team would not have taken Jamarcus Russell with the number 1 overall pick that year (provided they needed a starting QB) I seriously have to doubt those people’s sincerity on this forumn and have to assume you are here to just fling mud.

  57. autumnwind999 says: Apr 12, 2012 10:34 AM

    thedereknelson says:
    Apr 12, 2012 10:20 AM
    Russell is the player that ruined Al Davis’ legacy. Think about it. Every time anyone brings up Davis’ fault, number 1 or 2 is Russell.

    ——————————

    And Russell was really the consensus No. 1 pick in that draft. Most experts had him No. 1. As Billick states the Ravens had him No. 1. The Browns wanted to trade the world to move up a few spots to take him. But the Raiders had the misfortune of having the No.1 pick and actually taking him.

    Now fans and “experts” alike try to pretend that was some kind of Al Davis reach pick.

    Al Davis reach picks would be DHB and Nnamdi Asomugha. Players taken well ahead of where everyone thought they would go. Consensus picks would include JaMarcus, Gallery and McClain. You know, seems like the Al Davis reach picks were usually better than those consensus guys. Maybe Al should’ve gone with his gut more often.

  58. mwcarolina says: Apr 12, 2012 10:35 AM

    u cant blame Al for needing a QB, and seeing Mel Kiper #1 big board player all the POTENTIAL JAMARCUS, he can “throw 60 yrds” from his knees , etc…

    blame a lot on Jamarcus agent for being greedy in the holdout, Lane kiffin , the drugs, Russell inner circle, etc…
    ——————————————————
    i dont blame Al for needing a QB, i blame him on who he took for his QB, should’ve went into free agency that year and got a QB. Schaub was a restricted free agent and they also could’ve signed Garcia then draft Johnson

    As for the blame, the blame on Russell’s failure is on ONE guy and his name is Russell, not the drugs. the drugs didnt knock on Russell’s door and force themselves in his mouth. Russell’s inner circle didnt feed him Krispy Kreme every day. Russell’s agent didnt give him 3 cheeseburgers a day and it’s NOT the fault of Lane Kiffin either!!!! it’s not on Kiffin to have his QB mature. Kiffin’s a football coach, he is the leader, but he cant lead a team when the QB isnt trying. Kiffin wasnt a great coach or a great man, but Russell’s failure is on himself and Russell being drafted was on Al, but the fault for him being a bust was Russell, he had the talent to be great, he just didnt want it.

  59. Steeley McBeam says: Apr 12, 2012 10:38 AM

    ravenator says:

    Ozzie > Colbert

    Did you really post this on an article that clearly stares Ozzie Newsome had his highest draft grade in history on the biggest bust in history? Do you even read the articles before you hate on the Steelers?

  60. autumnwind999 says: Apr 12, 2012 10:45 AM

    49erstim says:
    Apr 12, 2012 9:18 AM
    For some reason I’m not in the mood for JaMarkus bashing today. This case shows that you must do your homework all around. The investments made in these KIDS demands due diligence. The Raiders are equally culpable for his status as a bust. Al loved the freaks and a dude that could fire a football like a cannon.

    ————————

    I’m sure the Raiders did their due diligence. Difficult to simulate how a 21-year-old who gets $30 million + guaranteed thrown at him will respond.

    All that aside, Al Davis was a swing for the fences type. Not a singles or doubles hitter at all. He would draft players based on the ceiling for their potential, not the floor. JaMarcus’ ceiling was probably greater than any QB in the history of the NFL. Unfortunately, we all saw his floor.

    It’s the same reason Al would notoriously draft speed demons and HWS guys regardless of college production. It was his philosophy to get the best raw talent in house and then it would be up to the Raiders and the coaches to make them great. Sometimes that doesn’t work out. Sometimes it leads to three Super Bowl titles, five SB appearances, a bunch of Hall of Famers and a bunch of championship game appearances.

  61. drexelvol says: Apr 12, 2012 10:46 AM

    Tennehill? He’s insignificant. I thought he’d be comparing RGIII to JaMarcus Russell. That’s a more relevant cautionary tale.

  62. stonedwhitetrash says: Apr 12, 2012 10:46 AM

    Like Russell few tree swinging quarterbacks stay on course for long in the NFL

  63. mightyquinn69 says: Apr 12, 2012 10:47 AM

    I remember when LSU beat the breaks off Notre Dames, lol… J. Russell really lit them up! I believe he threw for like 400+ yds, and that’s when his draft stock really shot up. The problem was that N.D was butthole awful, and everyone lit them up. But, simply based on his size, and athleticism, the NFL idiots had enough to put him at the top of theyre list.

  64. flaccounibrow says: Apr 12, 2012 10:57 AM

    Oh why oh why couldn’t the ratbirds have pulled a daniel snyderesque trade for russell.

  65. TaiwanMike says: Apr 12, 2012 10:57 AM

    Gotta give Billick credit for openly and publicly saying that he would have made the disastrous decision to draft JaMarcus Russell. Not many people would admit that they would have taken Leaf over Manning either, but that one was a coin-flip too.
    Maybe Russell would have had more stability with the Ravens than he did in Oakland and turned out OK, but who knows.

  66. hooterdawg says: Apr 12, 2012 10:57 AM

    I think the ‘Russell Factor’ this year belongs to RGIII. While Luck has been on everyone’s radar for the past two years, RGIII came out of nowhere in 2011/2012 to capture the hype of the media and talking heads.

  67. philvil41 says: Apr 12, 2012 10:58 AM

    Thanks for the honesty,Billick.I respect that.I guess all the Al Davis/Raiders bashers can stick it up their collective asses.I’m glad dougydougdoug took time out from having sex with his mother to opine.

  68. raiders757 says: Apr 12, 2012 11:03 AM

    sportsmeccabi says: Apr 12, 2012 8:41 AM

    We all thought this guy would be one of the best.
    ——————————————

    Not me. I was pissed when Al drafted him. He had bust written all over him.

  69. jjboogie2011 says: Apr 12, 2012 11:03 AM

    i do get a bit tired on how much grief the draft experts get when they (or GMs or head coaches) get it so wrong. i mean you HAVE to rank your players on the board and that goes on record…so i get that it’s on record so it’s easy to pick at the person making the board.

    but it’s 90% based on potential by nature…

    so much more of what happens post draft is based on the team, coach, culture, and the money they get. the failure resides much more with the teammates, coaches, team’s culture and of course with the player themselves.

    ragging on the draft experts is often just picking an easy scapegoat…put Ray Lewis on the Browns and you’d never see anything close to his career taking place…put Tomlinson on the Browns (they passed on him famously) and nowhere near the career.

  70. djrando7 says: Apr 12, 2012 11:13 AM

    Robert Griffin III = JaMarcus Russell 2.0

  71. gassiusclay says: Apr 12, 2012 11:13 AM

    I feel like if JaMarcus’s heart was never in the game. otherwise, he had all the intangibles. If you have no heart, then you hold out for the huge contract and miss all OTA’s and camps…then you cannot produce in the NFL.

    Purple Drank wont help either.

    During the draft, we will see each player’s best foot forward…kinda like when you start dating, you put your best foot forward. Only time will reveal character, something pundits cannot predict.

  72. tonyromoisterrible says: Apr 12, 2012 11:15 AM

    This is really no surprise at all what so ever. Smalltimore cant draft QB or WR. Defensive line, LB, RB, pretty much every position but QB and WR Newsome is clueless when drafting. Flacco is awful, troy smith, kyle boller, Derek anderson, josh harris, Wes pate, chris redman, wally richardson, and john stark are all unhear of and awful as well. Ozzie will probably mess this draft up and the ravens wont be good again for 10 years. We can all hope.

  73. fatfreddystubbs says: Apr 12, 2012 11:21 AM

    Henry says:
    Apr 12, 2012 8:53 AM
    “….teams can sometimes fall in love with players for reasons other than what happened on the field during their college careers”

    Sort of like the way the Jets fell in love with Sanchez—————————————–

    Henry, I think the Jets, and some other teams, DID fall in love with Sanchez for what he did on the field, the problem was that it was only one game (Rose Bowl).

    Speaking as a Penn State fan that was at the game, when he got drafted i said that he should give half his signing bonus to Penn State’s (overmatched) secondary, because he made a lot of money that day.

  74. jimbo75025 says: Apr 12, 2012 11:23 AM

    markwri says:Apr 12, 2012 10:02 AM

    Who knows really? If he were drafted by another team and placed in a different environment, if he would have been a better player? Not saying a hall of famer, and I’m not diss’ing the Raiders. But perhaps a better person and or player. If he got to watch Peyton Manning prepare, or experince Tom Brady’s desire to always win or sit behind Drew Brees and watch what it takes. Maybe he would have gotten it.
    _________

    I agree, but there was no way he was going to slide far enough for the Colts, Pats, etc to draft him-even if he had he would still be a backup until now (or until last year anyway when Manning was hurt). I also agree with another poster who said his holdout also played a big factor. Had he signed quickly and gotten with the team for camp, who knows what would have happened. Instead he spent six months after the draft having everyone tell him how great he was before he signed. His agent and inner circle were a big part of the problem. After the holdout, he was pretty much screwed.

  75. fatfreddystubbs says: Apr 12, 2012 11:25 AM

    On another note, congratulations to Brian Billick for being the first person in the history of Jamarcus Russell comparisons to actually compare a white QB to him.

  76. kleppnasty says: Apr 12, 2012 11:31 AM

    randallflagg52

    I hate the Pats as much as the next guy, but comparing the bad late round picks of the Patriots to the bad 1st/early round QB picks of the Ravens isn’t really fair. Mallett obviously wasn’t going to get on the field last year with Brady there, and O’Donnell and the rest were late round flyers.
    Patriots are a bit overrated with the draft, but drafting QBs hasn’t been one of their weaknesses. They drafted a guy off of USC’s bench and he is a starter in the NFL, and they have two guys on their bench that could be traded pretty easily to a QB hungry team for a mid round pick or better.

  77. furedmccombs says: Apr 12, 2012 11:34 AM

    Why would anyone trust Billick’s evaluation of a QB?

  78. jjboogie2011 says: Apr 12, 2012 11:40 AM

    and with this story of admission, so ends any hope of Brian Billick coaching again…

  79. thewassabi says: Apr 12, 2012 11:44 AM

    Seems like the guys they talk about the least end up being the best players. Tom Brady, Wes Welker, Greg Jennings, Shannon Sharpe (even though i hate that guy), Terrel Davis, Al Harris, Donald Driver. To me i think it always better to trade the 1st round pick for more 3rd and 4th round picks.

  80. reiriza says: Apr 12, 2012 11:44 AM

    I must of been the only one that knew Jamarcus was going to suck in the NFL

  81. raiderapologist says: Apr 12, 2012 11:48 AM

    The Ravens probably gave that high grade to Russell without digging too deep because they knew he wouldn’t be coming to Baltimore.

    It’s hard for me to believe a team would be that casual about their board, no matter where they’re drafting.

  82. tatum064 says: Apr 12, 2012 11:51 AM

    tharoostah says:
    Apr 12, 2012 8:41 AM
    Nothing against the 2 guys going 1 & 2, they both seem great. But history and stats say chances are one of the two will be a bust. I’m guessing its the one who most resembles a caveman from a certain commercial.

    0===================================

    Im guessing someone is going to be eating crow, just as they did when they predicted diaster for Cam Newton.

    Long live sports.

  83. gmen1987 says: Apr 12, 2012 12:01 PM

    thedereknelson says:
    Apr 12, 2012 10:20 AM
    Russell is the player that ruined Al Davis’ legacy. Think about it. Every time anyone brings up Davis’ fault, number 1 or 2 is Russell.

    ===================================
    Goobs, Senile Al’s Legacy was ruined well before JeMarcus came along.

  84. patsfiend says: Apr 12, 2012 12:02 PM

    I hear they are pretty high on Flacco, too.

  85. zampft says: Apr 12, 2012 12:04 PM

    Yeah it’s funny how quickly people forget all the busts that happen EVERY year.

    And how a player like Cam Newton can have one great and exciting rookie year, and is all of a sudden considered a Hall of Famer.

  86. orcheon says: Apr 12, 2012 12:07 PM

    Drafting quarterbacks is a crapshoot.

  87. neonblack510 says: Apr 12, 2012 12:18 PM

    The raiders were looking for a QB in the draft. If they didnt take jabba the hut they would of taken Brady Quinn. Either way Raider nation was doomed. That pick set us back 10 years…..

  88. oaktown49er says: Apr 12, 2012 12:18 PM

    He looked amazing against notre dame but was unimpressive against auburn. Got to watch ALL the tape

  89. neonblack510 says: Apr 12, 2012 12:20 PM

    The raiders were looking for a QB in the draft. If they didnt take jabba the hut they would of taken Brady Quinn. Either way Raider nation was doomed. That pick set us back 10 years.

  90. kingjoe1 says: Apr 12, 2012 12:22 PM

    “Need is a poor judge of talent.” Much better indication as to what double B was trying to represent.

  91. andyreiddoublecheeseburger says: Apr 12, 2012 12:32 PM

    Poor Al Davis gets ripped for drafting Russell; but like Billick says, he was the top prospect they ever had on their board. So if Luck turns into a bust, are we gonna rip Jim Irsay for drafting him, or acknowledge the fact that just about everyone has this guy rated off the charts? The draft is nothing but a crapshoot.

  92. westcoastpackerfan says: Apr 12, 2012 12:42 PM

    I have no idea why teams fall all over themselves to draft QB “prospects.” I’m not saying people don’t draft projects at other positions, or that seemingly safe picks on the O/D line don’t turn out bad sometimes too, but it is baffling how teams will trade up to get a guy that is limited in so many ways, but maybe has one or two good characteristics. Look at Christian Ponder & Jake Locker last year. They are good prospects, and decent players with some ability, but top 15? come on. Blaine Gabbert?! Get serious. No one will take a Kliff Klingsbury from Texas Tech, but it’s ok to draft Gabbert from Missouri because he is taller and has long hair? NFL evaluators still have no idea on how to grade middle round QB prospects. And for some reason teams get suckered into trying to find the next Aaron Rodgers or Drew Brees (both of whom were drafted late 1st/early 2nd) in the top 10 instead of drafting best available player and waiting for the right pick.

    Advice to teams thinking of picking Ryan Tannehill. Wait around until the 5th round and grab Russell Wilson from Wisconsin. Yes, he is short, but he’s a better athlete, and a better quarterback. And if his height really is a problem, so what, you only spent a 5th round pick on him and you can put him at WR like Brad Smith.

  93. mscjmr123 says: Apr 12, 2012 12:48 PM

    The comments that try to support the notion that it was a “crazy Al” move to draft Russell with the 1st pick are ridiculous and a good example of the historical revisionism that gets thrown at the Raiders and at Al Davis. Say what you will, but almost all of the draft pundits were pushing Russell as a rare talent. Fans of other teams like to point to this as an indication of Al’s senility or lack of draft prowess, but the fact is that almost every other team would have done exactly the same as the Raiders did in their situation. Al had his share of misses – like every team does – it’s just that they got more criticism for missing than other teams. Al also made some really good picks (see 2010 draft – Houston, Veldheer, Ford, and 2011 – Wiz, D. Moore) that often went against the grain of the so called experts.

  94. doe22us says: Apr 12, 2012 12:51 PM

    tonyromoisterrible says:
    Apr 12, 2012 11:15 AM
    This is really no surprise at all what so ever. Smalltimore cant draft QB or WR. Defensive line, LB, RB, pretty much every position but QB and WR Newsome is clueless when drafting. Flacco is awful, troy smith, kyle boller, Derek anderson, josh harris, Wes pate, chris redman, wally richardson, and john stark are all unhear of and awful as well. Ozzie will probably mess this draft up and the ravens wont be good again for 10 years. We can all hope.

    I guess you have been living under a rock for the past 4 0r 5 years, the Ravens consistently feature a good to solid squad year on year.

  95. Deb says: Apr 12, 2012 1:00 PM

    tonyromoisterrible says:

    This is really no surprise at all what so ever. … Ozzie will probably mess this draft up and the ravens wont be good again for 10 years.
    ————————————————
    That is a really bizarre statement about one of the top two or three player personnel guys in the business. And I’m a Steelers fan.

  96. Deb says: Apr 12, 2012 1:19 PM

    djrando7 says:

    Robert Griffin III = JaMarcus Russell 2.0
    ————————————————-
    Really? Why?

    Russell’s biggest issue proved to be complete lack of motivation. Griffin is from a family of dedicated career military officers. He’s already finished his undergraduate degree and nearly finished his law degree. He’s already taken the initiative to sign an unusual advertising contract linked to his Twitter account. None of that speaks to a guy who lacks motivation. His playing style and physique aren’t similar to Russell’s. So what exactly do these two guys have in common?

  97. gmen1987 says: Apr 12, 2012 1:29 PM

    mscjmr123 says:
    Apr 12, 2012 12:48 PM
    The comments that try to support the notion that it was a “crazy Al” move to draft Russell with the 1st pick are ridiculous and a good example of the historical revisionism that gets thrown at the Raiders and at Al Davis. Say what you will, but almost all of the draft pundits were pushing Russell as a rare talent. Fans of other teams like to point to this as an indication of Al’s senility or lack of draft prowess, but the fact is that almost every other team would have done exactly the same as the Raiders did in their situation. Al had his share of misses – like every team does – it’s just that they got more criticism for missing than other teams. Al also made some really good picks (see 2010 draft – Houston, Veldheer, Ford, and 2011 – Wiz, D. Moore) that often went against the grain of the so called experts.

    =================================
    Many NFL draft gurus said they would take JeLardness with the 1st overall pick because of his work ethic. Chris Landry was one of them.

  98. chawk12thman says: Apr 12, 2012 1:30 PM

    Draft busts happen…….saying one player is like another is also just as accurate, both positive and negative. Can Luck bust? Sure. Will Tannehill get drafted high, for need and upside? Likely. Will he be a bust? Maybe.

  99. fwippel says: Apr 12, 2012 1:37 PM

    Three things:

    Russell may have been the highest rated QB in the draft that year, but certainly didn’t make him worthy of the first overall pick. There have been plenty of busts at QB over the last decade (Carr, Harrington, Young, Leinart, Russell), and most of the guys on this list were surrounded by superstar casts in college.

    Russell did not ruin Al Davis’ legacy. David did that himself. Ever heard of Todd Marinovich?

    RGIII may not become a superstar, but he’s going to far more successful than Russell. This QB draft will bear a greater resemblance to 2004 (Manning, Roethlisberger, Rivers) than 2006 (Young, Leinart, Cutler).

  100. ravenator says: Apr 12, 2012 1:51 PM

    @ Steeley McBeam

    Yes that’s exactly why I said it, because fans of your team would troll through and actually proclaim that Ozzie is a fool, as if he ACTUALLY drafted the man. Instead, you keep enjoying the restructuring your “cap genius” is doing and when the credit card bill comes due, I’ll be there to say I told you so. Keep waiting for those “mega-TV contracts” to kick in, in the meantime I’ll be enjoying all the future cuts that are on the horizon.

  101. raiderlyfe510 says: Apr 12, 2012 2:14 PM

    Jamarcus had the best skill set to ever come out of college. He was a raw prospect having only played a handful of games in college. He needed to be truly coached up.

    Nobody called Jamarcus a bust in 2008 when Gregg Knapp and Flip were overseeing his development. He was performing well. Which is why Al Davis said…Jamarcus is a great QB, get over it. In that press conference.

    Jamarcus regressed to bust status when the under-qualified loser Tom Cable became a head coach. He gave him a Coryell Passing game coordinator in Ted Tollner. A West Coast Offense QB Coach in Paul Hacket, and Cable called the plays. 3 different voices to listen to with NO OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR! How can a 21 year old 2nd year starter succeed?? Add on top of that two rookie WRs who dropped everything, and weak O-Line.

    Jamarcus didn’t stand a chance here.

  102. cometkazie says: Apr 12, 2012 2:37 PM

    Word in Baton Rouge was in their freshman/redshirt year, Flynn and Russell were given the playbook to study. Flynn turned his in after a while. A bit later they asked Russell where his playbook was and he didn’t know what they were talking about.

  103. patfaninbflo says: Apr 12, 2012 3:10 PM

    jimbo75025 says: Apr 12, 2012 11:23 AM

    markwri says:Apr 12, 2012 10:02 AM

    Who knows really? If he were drafted by another team and placed in a different environment, if he would have been a better player? Not saying a hall of famer, and I’m not diss’ing the Raiders. But perhaps a better person and or player. If he got to watch Peyton Manning prepare, or experince Tom Brady’s desire to always win or sit behind Drew Brees and watch what it takes. Maybe he would have gotten it.
    _________

    I agree, but there was no way he was going to slide far enough for the Colts, Pats, etc to draft him-even if he had he would still be a backup until now (or until last year anyway when Manning was hurt).

    ————————————————–

    Might have started the 2008 season when Brady got hurt. Probably wouldn’t have won 11 games, though, but if Cassell could, who knows?

  104. pushingiron says: Apr 12, 2012 4:33 PM

    Some of you people are either about as bright as a box of rocks, or you are just plain ignorant about the subject matter.
    Nobody would confuse JaPurpleDrank with a member of MENSA, while Tannehill is a Pre-Med major that will be a orthapedic surgeon when his playing days are over. They both have outstanding talent, but JaStupid is about as lazy as they come. Tannehill is not saddled with that problem. To the poster that talked about another QB that will be drafted around the 5th round, Tannehill was athletic enough to play reciever and be the first player in College Football to throw for 4,000 yards and recieve for 2,000 yards in a career. He was also the first QB to play for a team that beat Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas in the same season. His senior season his team’s defense sucked ass, he couldn’t play on both sides of the ball. In addition scouts have said he had 60+ drops by recievers his senior season. While I don’t think he is a top ten pick right now, he has the talent to be a premier QB in the league. We all know the value of a franchise QB playing for your team. I think someone will trade up to 3 or 4 and pick him on his potential alone. This is a huge kid that has a high IQ, a big arm, and runs a 4.5.

  105. TD Hawk says: Apr 12, 2012 5:59 PM

    You can’t grade Want-To.

  106. patpatriot7 says: Apr 12, 2012 6:20 PM

    randallflagg said, in reference to the Patriots: “How’s Kevin O’Connell working out for you, or what about Ryan Mallett?”
    Because the Patriots are one of the most consistent teams, year-after-year, in the NFL, they are always drafting at the bottom and have few roster openings to fill.
    Besides, there’s a big difference between the No. 1 pick who is to be your “franchise quaterback” and players drafted to be backups like Kevin O’Connell and Ryan Mallett. Neither was taken to be the immediate starter. In fact, they were/are selected to serve as third-string quarter behind Tom Brady and Brian Hoyer who the Patriots recently tendered because he is better than several quarterbacks who are presently starters. No, “Mallett wasn’t even active last year,” but he didn’t need to be. The Patriots have the luxury of being able to bring him along slowly and he could be the quarterback in waiting as he was rated as the best prospect among the quarterbacks who came out last year!
    As for drafts, it is true that there are no longer any picks from the 2007 draft still with the team. However, one of those picks (Round 5. 165th choice) was traded for a WR who helped the Patriots go 17-0 and come with one bizarre reception from winning the Super Bowl.
    As far as drafting is concerned. I’ll only bore you with the last two years.
    2011:
    Round 1 Pick 11 Nate Solder T
    2 33 Ras-I-Dowling CB (IR)
    2 56 Shawn Vareen RB
    3 73 Stevan Ridley RB
    3 74 Ryan Mallett QB
    5 138 Marcus Cannon OT
    6 194 Markell Carter DE/ST
    7 219 Malcolm Williams DB
    2010:
    Round 1 Pick 37 Devon McCourty CB
    2 42 Rob Gronkowski TE
    2 53 Jermaine Cunningham
    DE/OLB
    2 62 Brandon Spikes LB
    4 113 Aaron Hernandez TE/HB
    5 150 Zoltan Mesko P
    7 247 Brandon Deadrick DE

    Not a bad recovery. N.B. Every player cut or waived was picked up by another NFL team.

    F.Y.I. As for the upcoming draft, the Patriots have two picks in the first round and two more in the second.

  107. granadafan says: Apr 12, 2012 6:30 PM

    NFL scouts need to talk to college coaches and guys in the program for the inside scoops on players. It’s in the best interests of the coaches to tell the truth, otherwise future kids will be ignored and the coach won’t have much of a future in the NFL should they so desire.

  108. aglawman says: Apr 12, 2012 11:00 PM

    Played blackjack with Jamarcus at Harrahs after the UGA-Hawaii Sugar Bowl…dude split 10s all night. That told me all I needed to know about his “thinker”!!!!

  109. lotusfather says: Apr 13, 2012 5:20 PM

    zampft says: Apr 12, 2012 12:04 PM

    Yeah it’s funny how quickly people forget all the busts that happen EVERY year.

    And how a player like Cam Newton can have one great and exciting rookie year, and is all of a sudden considered a Hall of Famer.

    =====================

    It is because most people saw the same warning signs that came with JaWalrus Nohustle, and expected the same crap.

    So when he did well everyone jumped on his back and started looking for the anointing oils.

    I admit, I didn’t think he would do well and was labeling him a bust out of the box… Good for him and the Panthers that he did well. But I’m not convinced yet… NFL defenses adapt, and year two will be a real test for him.

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