In case you’re only just now coming out of hibernation, Calvin Johnson and JaMarcus Russel are kind of a big deal. In fact, they’re the only two candidates that people are considering as possibilities for Oakland’s number one overall selection. Now I can understand the logic behind those two- Johnson is at the top of every draft board out there, and most people (but not me!) consider Russel to be a franchise quarterback.
But let’s be realistic, of their 22 starting spots, Oakland has about 15 in serious need of improvement. So why is Oakland (we assume) only considering two players? First overall quarterbacks are a huge risk, and there are other options that are far less risky that could be had through trades. At receiver the Raiders could use help but really, they have Randy Moss. Why aren’t they considering Joe Thomas or a defensive player like Gaines Adams? Maybe because they aren’t first overall material, but I’d rather overpay a good player than pay a bust first overall money.
What makes a good quarterback? Intangibles. Arm strength. Accuracy. Mechanics. Mobility. And no, “he just wins” is not an acceptable answer.
Maybe everyone knows something I don’t, but I’m still scratching my head over how JaMarcus Russell is rated as a better quarterback prospect than Brady Quinn. Russell was thought of as an average to good prospect, and then, for some reason, one good bowl game against one of the worst defenses in the country made him the favorite to go number one overall. I feel like I’m in a Brady-Manning debate saying this, but JaMarcus Russell did not outplay Brady Quinn. Russell got the early lead and played the whole game against an atrocious defense. Brady Quinn was immediately in a deep hole that forced him to throw the ball more than he might have wanted. Against the LSU defense.
I’m usually wary of people that shoot up draft boards right before the draft, and like Mario Williams among countless others, it doesn’t normally end well.
So go on, drool over his physical abilities and how he can throw the ball seventy nine yards sitting in a lawn chair. It won’t make him a star. I fully expect the Oakland Raiders to draft him, and if they don’t, the Lions will. Whoever ends up with him will be extremely sorry in a few months when they discover that as strong as he is, he really isn’t anything special.