Russell has the intangibles and football intelligence that you look for in an NFL quarterback. He has a good arm and is a very accurate quarterback. He is an excellent manager of a game plan and has the mental stamina to deal with adversity during a game and still bring his team back. He has very good athletic skills and can move in the pocket and throw on the run as well as most quarterbacks in this draft. Russell shows his leadership skills through his play on the field. He has the respect of his teammates and coaches. For me personally, I think Russell is a perfect fit for a west coast offense that requires an intelligent quarterback who makes decisions at the line before the snap of the ball and gets the ball out of his hands as quickly as possible.
Russell has a good arm, but not a strong enough arm to compensate for his lack of height. He also struggles to throw with good velocity when he throws on the run. He needs to work on his mechanics and get stronger. Russell looks to me to be very stubborn, which can be both a gift and a curse. Being stubborn has gotten him to the level he is at right now, but not being flexible in understanding how his talents fit for the next level and not accepting his weaknesses could create obstacles to him learning what he needs to in order to become a starting QB in the NFL. It's a problem for most young quarterbacks. Russell must continue to learn about his strengths and weakness and use his intelligence and offensive system to minimize his weakness and maximize his strengths. He is a systems quarterback for the next level. Put him in an offensive system with a strong running came and a "quick release" passing offense and he will be a good solid player for the team that drafts him.
Three inches taller and Russell is a QB most teams take at some point in the top three rounds to develop. Right now, with the information I have in front of me, I consider Russell to be an excellent back-up quarterback. I believe that in a four game stretch, Russell can win two games and keep a team's winning season afloat when the starting quarterback gets injured. I think he is very defendable, in a 16-game schedule. That doesn't mean Russell can't become a starting quarterback in the future. His intangibles to succeed are very high, but with the information I have in front of me right now, I have to slot Russell as a later round draft choice and hope he proves me wrong. Either way, Russell can still make a lot of money as a back up and be successful and maybe in the future start for some very smart coach who will design the offense around Russell so that he can succeed.
The BS Detector
Drew Boylhart March/12