In case you missed it, JaMarcus Russell is trying to make a return to the NFL. And, if, as the saying goes ‘you’re the average of your three best friends,’ then JaMarcus should be on the rise with the quality team that he’s established. Let’s take him into The Lab to see how he compares with one of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL.
Many have joked about Russell’s weight, his immaturity, or his codeine use, but surely there must have been SOME reason he was drafted #1 overall. While it might be easy to call him dumb, it would be important to note that his wonderlic score was the same as RGIII’s (24). What I’m about to present is probably a damning case against my world view, but it’s just too interesting to not share:
Meaningful games with 2+ TD passes
- JaMarcus Russell- 7 (in 9 games)
- Player X- 7 (in 9 games)
Meaningful games with 3+ TD passes
- JaMarcus Russell- 3 (in 9 games)
- Player X- 3 (in 9 games)
- JaMarcus Russell- 27.1
- Player X- 30.4
- JaMarcus Russell- 66.4%
- Player X- 60.6%
- JaMarcus Russell- 13.4
- Player X- 14.3
- JaMarcus Russell- 7.3%
- Player X- 6.9%
- JaMarcus Russell- 3.2%
- Player X- 2.9%
Grade in my system (anything above 95 is a potentially elite prospect)
- JaMarcus Russell- 104.9
- Player X- 99.6
So who is Player X? None other than Detroit Lions QB Matt Stafford, who is a rising star on the pass-happy Lions. Note that Stafford (2008) and Russell (2006) both played in the SEC.
Then what are we to think about JaMarcus Russell? At just 21 years old, he was a full year younger (relatively speaking) than Andrew Luck and Sam Bradford when they went #1 overall. On Mike & Mike this morning, Greenberg spoke about a time when he and Steve Young interviewed Russell during his rookie year. They both came away from the meeting thinking ‘this guy has no clue about, and is not ready for, the world in which he now exists.’ After a couple years out of football, does he have a clue now? Is he ready now?
Who knows. But he certainly is worth a look. At just 27.5 years old, he is just a year older than Mark Sanchez, the same age as Matt Flynn, and a year younger than Alex Smith.