JaMarcus Russell: Best Fits for Former No. 1 Overall Draft Pick
Back in late January, Kristian Dyer of Yahoo! Sports reported the following:
One of the biggest draft busts in NFL history is trying to re-kindle his football career. Yahoo! Sports has learned that JaMarcus Russell is planning a comeback attempt that he hopes will see him play in the league again.
You can also watch a video of Russell and his attempt for a comeback, via Aaron Nagler of Bleacher Report.
That said, are there any teams where Russell fits for the 2013 season?
Yes, because given the overall lack of talent in 2013's quarterback draft class compared to 2012, as well as free agency, Russell does become a bit more intriguing.
New York Jets
The New York Jets cannot do any worse at quarterback than what unfolded throughout the 2012 season.
Mark Sanchez proved to fail when victory was needed the most, as evidenced by the Monday night game against the Tennessee Titans.
The New York Jets do not plan to release quarterback Tim Tebow before the start of the new league year in March and instead will hold on to him with the hopes that they can trade him, according to league sources.
So, why not approach JaMarcus Russell?
He would be competition to Sanchez and McElroy during training camp, and it's not like Gang Green has much to lose. Already fielding a solid rushing attack, the play-action pass helps Russell and the AFC East isn't overly dominant against the pass.
The Arizona Cardinals' quarterbacks got sacked 58 times in 2012.
Now, without question, part of that is due to a porous offensive line. At the same time, though, a quarterback must know when to make a quick release and feel the pressure when inside the pocket.
None of Arizona's quarterbacks proved reliable last season, because even Kevin Kolb only sported a 59.6 completion percentage. Include a non-existent rushing attack, and it's no surprise Arizona failed miserably on offense.
What JaMarcus Russell brings, if anything, is a strong arm to let the receivers make plays.
Just have him take a three- or five-step drop, target Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd or Andre Roberts and let them do the rest. Given the NFC West's stout defenses, Arizona doesn't have much to hope for.
On the bright side, the Cards' receiving corps is one of the better in pro football. They simply need a quarterback capable of allowing playmaking opportunities to occur at a greater rate.
With receivers such as Justin Blackmon and Cecil Shorts along with tight end Marcedes Lewis, the Jacksonville Jaguars need a quarterback.
And despite Chad Henne's efforts in 2012, the inconsistency was not efficient enough to get the offense moving.
Much like with the Jets, Jacksonville adding Russell just adds competition to the position.
Blaine Gabbert has developed minimally since being a Round 1 pick and it's obvious the passing game remains in dire straits. As for Russell, the Jags are a solid fit because the AFC South is not a strong defensive division.
Houston is easily the best team in the division, but the Texans are also suspect against the pass.
Russell would also be backed by one of the NFL's best ball-carriers in Maurice Jones-Drew. So, resorting to him on the checkdown or screens will take away pressure: Lest we also forget about MJD on the ground, which sets up play-action to the fast receivers downfield.
Adrian Peterson will make any quarterback look good.
And yes, Christian Ponder developed decently as a rookie, but he did regress in 2012.
The reason for JaMarcus Russell's fit with the Minnesota Vikings is the overall talent they possess. Obviously, Peterson helps draw defenders into the box and set up play-action.
Ponder may have completed more attempts, but he also hit Peterson much more on checkdowns and screens. Count the impact from tight end Kyle Rudolph and it wasn't surprising to see better numbers.
That always doesn't necessarily mean better development, either. The Vikings lost five regular season road games and Ponder wasn't consistent enough to be relied on.
Of every team mentioned here, Minnesota is not the best fit by comparison. Although, Russell would definitely perform better in a dome with pro football's best running back to feed.
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