JaMarcus Russell (LSU)
JaMarcus Russell is the gold standard for draft busts – in the NFL – or any sport. Russell is a perfect example of what happens when teams overvalue a player’s physical attributes and ignore everything else. As a junior at LSU, Russell threw for 28 touchdowns and 8 interceptions, and was recognized as one of the best quarterbacks in the nation. But, as an NFL prospect, he was still tremendously raw, and needed loads of refinement. But, because of his “pro day” workout, which NFL Draft Mel Kiper compared to watching John Elway, Russell became the first overall pick of the 2007 NFL Draft.
Despite possessing the superb arm strength and prototypical size of a budding NFL superstar, JaMarcus Russell fizzled in Oakland after three seasons, over which the LSU product threw for 23 interceptions and only 18 touchdowns. After Russell was reported to have shown up to training camp in March 2010 weighing over 300 pounds, the Raiders traded for veteran QB Jason Campbell and cut Russell the first week of May. In addition to his horrendous play on the field and his lack of conditioning, several former teammates and coaches confirmed rumors that Russell was notorious for falling asleep during team meetings. Here’s where it gets really ugly for Raiders fans… By drafting Russell, the Raiders passed up on Calvin Johnson, Joe Thomas, Adrian Peterson, and Patrick Willis. Ouch!