Is JaMarcus Russell really as Leafian as we think he is?

12/16/09 in NFL   |   WhoDat12   |   2252 respect

At this point is his career, to say that JaMarcus Russell has been a disappointment would be the understatement of the century.  For whatever reason you may wish to give, he has failed to live up to the expectations of a #1 draft pick (or a halfway decent NFL quarterback).  He has often been compared to another highly drafted quarterback who is synonymous with the words “draft bust”, Ryan Leaf.  But is it fair to compare the two? Are their careers strikingly similar? Is it fair for Russell’s level of play to be referred to as “Leafian”? Let’s see.
Ryan Leaf helped revive the Washington State University football program, leading them to their first Pac-10 championship. After a controversial loss to Michigan in the Rose Bowl, Leaf decided to forgo his senior season and enter the draft. The San Diego Chargers, coming off a 4-12 season, were in desperate need of a quarterback, so they made a trade with the Arizona Cardinals to assure them that they would get either Peyton Manning or Ryan Leaf. The Colts selected Manning with the first pick (and as they say the rest is history) and the Chargers selected Leaf. Leaf was chosen ahead of future (good) NFL quarterbacks Charlie Batch, Brian Griese, and Matt Hasselbeck. Ironically, quarterback Moses Moreno was drafted by Chicago in the same draft, and Moreno would be one of the quarterbacks that replaced Leaf. (It is hilarious to mention that Ryan Leaf said, "I'm looking forward to a 15 year career, a couple of trips to the Super Bowl, and a parade through downtown San Diego." Yeah, how’d that work out?)
JaMarcus Russell was a key part of the LSU Tigers resurgence, leading his team to a Sugar Bowl victory over draft classmate Brady Quinn and Notre Dame (this game signaled the beginning of the end for one Charlie Weis, but I digress). Russell also chose to forgo his senior season and entered the draft. The Raiders held the first pick in the draft, and elected to take Russell. Other quarterbacks selected after Russell include Brady Quinn (???), Drew Stanton (decent backup) Trent Edwards (decent starter), Kevin Kolb (decent starter), and Isaiah Stanback (converted to WR, currently with the New England Patriots). That’s not exactly a who’s who of quarterbacks, but the following players: Calvin Johnson, Adrian Peterson, Darrelle Revis, Patrick Willis, and Michael Griffin, are among the best in the league at their respective positions.
JaMarcus Russel’s rookie season was derailed by him wanting large amounts of money, caushing him to holdout. Ryan Leaf’s rookie season was derailed him displaying large levels of suck, causing him to have a seat on the bench. Ryan Leaf played in 25 career games, so in the issue of fairness, we should compare his stats to Russell’s stats in 25 games. Discounting the four games Russell appeared in as a rookie, as of now he’s appeared in 25 NFL games.
Mr. Leaf’s stats: 317/655 passing (48.4% completion), 3,666 yards, 14 touchdowns, 36 interceptions, 16 fumbles
Mr. Russell’s stats: 304/589 passing (51.6% completion) 15 touchdowns, 18 interceptions, 12 fumbles
In my opinion, JaMarcus Russell is about a Level 3 Leafian (High level is 5). What do you think?
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4/20/10   |  

As a die hard raider fan I hate to say this but you are absolutely right.

12/17/09   |   WhoDat12   |   2252 respect

I agree. Being an LSU fan, I had the opportunity to see a lot of JaMarcus Russell, and I believe that he should have stayed for his senior year.  There were some obvious holes in his game (to me) that a lot of the Tiger Nation just didn't want to see.  I love and support my favorite teams, but I don't view them in team-colored glasses. Russell clearly wasn't ready for the NFL and he has proven it.  As I said, I think he's a Level 3 Leafian in his play. You can only blame the talent around him for so long. But if he was as great as his draft status, that wouldn't matter anyway.  Peyton Manning is completing passes to guys named Austin Collie & Pierre Garcon. Raise your hand if you had ever heard of these guys before this season...not too many hands.  Great quarterbacks enhance the talent of their skill players and Russell is not great, not good, not even mediocre.

12/17/09   |  

Obviously not every quarterback can be drafted out of college and be a starter the very next year in the NFL, some can't even start the within the next 2 years.   But when you sign a multi-million dollar contract, like Russell's and most other 1st rounders, you've just put your career in fast forward, a kid is put into a grown man's shoes whether he's ready or not.    Some are in the right atmosphere or just have the right mentality to grow into those shoes, so far not looking like its going to happen for Russell.    The Raiders now have a million dollar bench warmer.   

12/17/09   |  

 Awesome article. Russel would never be the distraction Leaf was but damn the dude sucks, and it seems he couldnt care less. Is it even worth drafting a qb top 5? couch, akili smith, Carr, Harrington, list goes on. BTW that Brady quinn guy, not so much better the Russel

12/17/09   |  

By choosing Frye over Russell, the Raiders have officially given up on JaMarcus.

12/17/09   |  

i feel sorry for myself sometimes. The worst part is that he shows not one ounce of accountablity and/or character on the sidelines. I didn't think he was going to be a BUST but wow was I ever wrong.

12/17/09   |  

I'm a Raider fan through and and through and I tried to give this guy the benefit of the the doubt, but I'll have to call them like I see them. He is a bust. You know it's funny....You guys would fall out of your chair laughing if I told you that I got this guy to be the MVP of the season on dynasty mode on Madden 10. I almost had to laugh at that myself as I typed it. But to answer the question again, big time bust!!!!

12/17/09   |     |   10 respect

if russell wasn't motavatied by hes benching, and going by the local papers thats true,he'll never be a nfl qb. cable gave him a chance and he blew it. so frye starts this weekend with recent pickup jp lossman soon therafter

12/16/09   |   Joe_L   |   12371 respect

He needs traded to the Brown's that would put him at a level 3 4 definitely........ Quinn, Anderson, and Russell can you imagine what a epic level of suck that could be.

12/16/09   |     |   31 respect

They should give Russell a 70's number and put him at offensive tackle

12/16/09   |     |   57 respect

He reminds a alot of Tarvaris Jackson, however Jackson is more mobile and can throw the ball with a little bit more command than Russell

12/16/09   |     |   204 respect

 Even then, the argument could be made that those teams won IN SPITE of their QB. 

12/16/09   |     |   57 respect

gobigblue1960 wrote:
Al Davis still thinks he's a great QB, just ask Lane Kiffin.

He is the worst qb I've ever seen. He can throw the ball a mile in the air, but he cant hit a barn.

12/16/09   |   gobigblue1960   |   4803 respect

Al Davis still thinks he's a great QB, just ask Lane Kiffin.

12/16/09   |