5 Most disappointing Raiders of the past 20 years
1. Jamarcus Russell
As the most obvious choice this list could’ve possibly had, the award for the No. 1 most disappointing Raider goes to quarterback Jamarcus Russell. Where to begin with Russell is actually the hardest part of putting together his resume.
After wowing the nation in the SEC championship game, and National Championship game, the then-LSU quarterback jumped on the scene as the most intriguing prospect going into the 2007 NFL Draft. The man could throw a football 90 yards from his knees, and it didn’t take long for Al Davis to fall in love.
The Raiders selected him first overall that year, and expected him to be the quarterback of the future. Back before the NFL implemented the rookie wage scale, the Raiders gave him a contract worth $61 million, with $32.5 million guaranteed. The glass shattering realization of who he really was began to unfold.
Many stories came out after the fact about Russell, most notably of how his offensive coordinator gave him a blank tape that supposedly had that week’s blitz reads and assignments. Russell came back the next day saying he watched it and everything looked great, not knowing there wasn’t anything on the tape and lying straight to his coaches face.
Russell went on to start 25 games in three years for the Raiders, finishing with a 7-18 record, throwing for only 4,083 yards, 18 touchdowns and 23 interceptions. To put the cherry on top of the disappointment, Hall of Fame wide receiver Calvin Johnson went No. 2 overall right after him.
By taking Russell, the Raiders also passed up on four more potential Hall of Fame players in Cleveland Brown Joe Thomas, Minnesota Viking Adrian Peterson, San Francisco 49er Patrick Willis, and Buffalo Bill Marshawn Lynch, who were all taken within the next 11 picks.
Not only is Russell widely considered the biggest bust in NFL history, he will forever go down and the biggest disappointment the Silver and Black has ever had.