JaMarcus Russell, LSU Quarterback, Picked First in the NFL Draft: This Day in Sports History

Stephen Douglas
JaMarcus Russell and Roger Goodell.
JaMarcus Russell and Roger Goodell. / Rich Schultz/Getty Images
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With the first pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, the Oakland Raiders select quarterback JaMarcus Russell, LSU. That was the last time an LSU quarterback was selected with the top pick in the NFL Draft. Whoops.

Russell held out through training camp while negotiating a six-year, $68 million contract with $31.5 million guaranteed. He appeared in four games as a rookie, starting only one. In his second season he was given the starting job. Starting 15 games, he did not impress, throwing 13 touchdown passes and eight interceptions. He started nine games the next season, throwing three touchdown passes and 11 interceptions. He lost 15 fumbles in his 31 career games and was out of the league a few months later.

Russell was obviously a bust, but the problem is, the Raiders were probably screwed no matter who they took. Future Hall of Famers Calvin Johnson and Joe Thomas were selected with the second and third picks that draft. They combined for two playoff games. The Raiders managed one good season since losing the 2003 Super Bowl, so it's hard to put it all on Russell. Just listen to how they discussed him when he was picked.

The only Super Bowl-winning quarterback in the entire draft class was Matt Moore who went undrafted and got a ring with the Chiefs a couple months back. The next best quarterback in that draft was probably Trent Edwards. If the Raiders had their hearts set on a franchise-saving quarterback, they were in the wrong draft.

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