JaMarcus Russell   QB   LSU

 

STRENGTHS 

JaMarcus is a very athletic QB with excellent size for his position.  He has a good, strong arm and can make all the throws needed to be a franchise QB at the next level.  He is a pocket passer who moves well in and out of the pocket.  JaMarcus is a powerful kid who throws the ball with good touch, but can also whip the ball into a tight area.  There is nothing on a football field that JaMarcus cannot do or accomplish if he puts his mind to it.  He is as big or bigger than Drew Bledsoe and as hard to tackle and bring to the ground as well.  JaMarcus has the potential to be a franchise QB and is the one player in this draft that has the most upside to his game. 

 

NEEDS TO IMPROVE

JaMarcus is overweight and doesn’t play with the urgency or consistency that he will need to be successful at the next level.  I question this kid’s work ethic and mental stamina.  He should lose about 20 lbs and show more leadership qualities.  JaMarcus better get his head out of his hindquarters if he wants to be a true franchise QB. 

 

TALENT BOARD ROUND: 1

There is no doubt that JaMarcus has the athletic talent to play the QB position.  There is no doubt about his mental ability to understand defenses and the playbook; however, in my mind, there are big doubts about whether or not JaMarcus has the mental stamina and work ethic to live up to all that his athletic ability suggests that he can do.  Let me ask you this:  why is it that it took a bowl game for anyone to really notice JaMarcus and his talent?  We know about Quinn, we know about Booty… JaMarcus has more athletic talent than both of those QB’s!  LSU is on TV!  They have a winning record.  We talk about Brian Brohm and Troy Smith, but before the season started, did anyone mention this kid’s name for the Heisman?  There is no one in college football that has more talent than JaMarcus Russell.  There is no one at the college level that has more upside to his game than JaMarcus Russell; but, believe me when I say this, until his recent bowl game, I have never seen JaMarcus play with the urgency in his game that he played with in that game.  I have never seen his three-step drop, his five-step drop or his set up quicker than it was in that game.  We all know that when you draft, you draft potential and upside for the future.  We all know that, in this draft, JaMarcus will be a top five pick and most likely, the first QB taken in this draft.  For me personally, if I was Oakland and had the first pick in this draft and JaMarcus was wanted by another team, I would trade down and take an RB (Peterson or Lynch) at my pick.  Then, in the second round with an early pick, take Troy Smith (QB Ohio St) and leave the multi-talented JaMarcus Russell to someone else. Remember, at the NFL level it takes more than talent to be successful.  That is especially true at the QB position.  “One game wonders” don’t impress me and JaMarcus played with a laissez-faire attitude in the games I watched of him this season.  With the overall talent of the LSU squad and JaMarcus Russell at QB, I expected LSU to be in the championship bowl, but they were not.  Ask yourself why?  Then again, the draft is all about potential and you tell me -- would you have the guts to pass up JaMarcus in the draft as the Chargers did when they passed on Michael Vick?  It will take guts!  

Drew Boylhart

January/2007