04.28.07

Smart Aleck : Russell’s Gonna Be A Bust

Posted in Gridiron at 10:18 am by

As reports are issued, then refuted that Oakland has opted to selected LSU QB Jamarcus Russell with the no. 1 overall pick in today’s NFL Draft, at least one loyal Brady Quinn supporter insists that Russell is “a fraud” and “the next Ryan Leaf.” Have fun picking apart the following, authored by 411mania’s Ian Smart.

Six months ago if I had told you that the Raiders were going to take Russell, you would disregard everything else I wrote. No one thought Russell should go in the first round when the season began, or even half way through the season. Russell shot up the draft boards after the Sugar Bowl when LSU went head-to-head with Notre Dame and won.

This raises the question of why was Russell not considered a first round talent in October or November? The answer is that he wasn’t worthy of such lofty status, and he still isn’t. Russell finished the season throwing 28 touchdowns and 8 interceptions, rendering him less productive than Quinn in either of his last two seasons. Quinn threw 37 touchdowns and 7 interceptions as a Senior and 32 Touchdowns and 7 interceptions as a Junior.

Russell’s big selling point is not his stats, it is his physical attributes. By now everyone knows that Russell has a cannon of an arm, maybe the best that anyone has ever seen, but how useful is his cannon? How much is just overkill? Apparently Russell can throw inhuman lengths on his knees and posterior, and I will be the first to say that those are impressive feats of strength, but when are they utilized in a game?

If Russell is on his knees, chances are he is being sacked and can therefore not throw, but let’s say he slips and he is on his butt, do you want him to attempt to hit a receiver forty yards down the field? One that he cannot see because of the linemen in the way. Even if you just want to take these accomplishments as a sign of his strength, and not a practical tool, at a certain point arm strength is irrelevant. Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Carson Palmer and Marc Bulger cannot throw as far of Russell, but they are Pro Bowl Quarterbacks. Brady Quinn can throw the ball 70-80 yards from his feet “ the only time you should throw a ball that far- so arm strength is irrelevant in the comparison between the two Quarterbacks. There is no throw that Russell can make that Quinn cannot. Russell’s ability to throw a ball threw a brick wall is useless in every facet of the game; it just makes for a good publicity stunt.

With about 90 minutes to go before the Draft begins, we might as congratulate the Lions in advance. Sooner or later, the whole picking a wide-receiver-every-year thing had to pay off, and it probably will this time.

After some disturbing chit chat (is there any other kind) between Dan Patrick and Peter King yesterday that involved the words “titanium plate”, there’s further scuttlebutt (courtesy of the Fanhouse’s Ryan Wilson) that OU RB Adrian Peterson might not play in 2007.

The Dallas Morning News’ Rick Gosselin tips the Cowboys to select Texas CB Aaron Ross with the 22nd overall pick. More importantly, Joe Benigno-Gazingo and Evan Roberts are overcome with emotion in reporting the Burger King has arrived at Radio City Music Hall.

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