The Biggest Draft Bust in NFL History

The Biggest Draft Bust in NFL History


The Biggest Draft Bust in NFL History


It’s the 2007 NFL draft, and the Oakland Raiders are on the clock with the first overall pick. Players like Calvin Johnson, Joe Thomas, Patrick Willis, and Darrelle Revis are all on the board. The Raiders would select QB JaMarcus Russell out of LSU instead of a future Hall Of Famer in WR Calvin Johnson. Upon the selection many analysts said that this could’ve been the greatest pick the Raiders have ever made in their franchise history, as well as claiming that JaMarcus Russell is the best prospect since Steve Young.

Entering his first season, Russell agreed to a 6 year, $61,000,000 contract with the Oakland Raiders including $32,000,000 guaranteed. This was a massive contract for a rookie, and Russell was the main reason that the NFL set a rule to where rookies can only get up to 4 years on a contract. In his rookie season Russell only played 1 game before going down with an injury. This wasn’t a good start for the QB, as in that game, he threw 4 interceptions. Many people became worried if Russell could be a long-term starter. 

Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Going into his second NFL season, weight became a problem for the starter, as he went from weighing 260 pounds his rookie year to reportedly weighing 300 pounds. He would start and play 15 games and throw for only 2,423 yards, 13 touchdowns, 8 interceptions, and having a horrible QBR of 29.2. After his 15 game stretch, he led the team to a 5-10 record. It was obvious that he wasn’t putting up amazing numbers like how a first overall pick should be, and he was becoming lazy and careless.

The Raiders coaches even gave Russell blank tapes to determine if he was studying film. The next day he came back and said that he watched the blitz packages. It was clear that JaMarcus Russell was never ready to play in the NFL.

In his third and final NFL season he only played 9 games and led the Raiders to a 2-7 record. During this span, JaMarcus would only throw for 1,287 yards, 3 touchdowns, 11 interceptions, as well as having a QBR of 20.7. On May 6, 2010, the Raiders would release the former 1st overall pick, and they would find their star QB in Derek Carr five years later. Since JaMarcus Russell’s departure from the NFL, he would desperately pursue an NFL comeback, as he worked out for the Chicago Bears and the Washington Football Team. In the end, he never was signed by a new team, and since then, he’s only been known as the biggest draft bust in NFL history.

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