I will start by writing that all players taken with the first pick of the NFL Draft are held to a very high standard. Much is expected from the player when a Team drafts a player so high and spends the kind of money required to get them under contract.
Lets take a closer look at number one draft picks at QB that became pretty good in the NFL and what their first couple years looked like.
J Elway 1983, 11 Games, 47.5 Cmp%, 7 TD - 14 Int, 54.9 QB Rtg
1984, 15 Games, 56.3 Cmp%, 18 TD - 15 Int, 76.8 QB Rtg
T Aikman 1989, 11 Games, 52.9 Cmp%, 9 TD - 18 Int, 55.7 QB Rtg
1990, 15 Games, 56.6 Cmp%, 11 TD - 18 Int, 66.6 QB Rtg
P Manning 1998, 16 Games, 56.7 Cmp%, 26 TD - 28 Int, 71.2 QB Rtg
1999, 16 Games, 62.1 Cmp%, 26 TD - 15 Int, 90.7 QB Rtg
E Manning 2004, 9 Games, 48.2 Cmp%, 6 TD - 9 Int, 55.4 QB Rtg
2005, 16 Games, 52.8 Cmp%, 24 TD - 17 Int, 75.9 QB Rtg
And now let us take a look at how JaMarcus Russell's first 16 Game starts stacks up against the Quarterbacks listed above.
J Russell 2007, 1 Games, 54.5 Cmp%, 2 TD - 4 Int, 55.9 QB Rtg
2008, 15 Games, 53.8 Cmp%, 13 TD - 8 Int, 77.1 QB Rtg
J. Russell has a higher QB Rating over his first and second years then John Elway, Troy Aikman, Ely Manning and only P. Manning had a QB Rating higher then Russell's in his second year.
As far as being able to make the proper decisions on throwing and protecting the ball. J. Russell's has most of the QB's listed above beat on TD's made to INT's thrown as well.
Many people in the Media have tried to imply that J. Russell and his play has been so far below other number one picks. That have went on to become Franchise Quarterbacks in the NFL which could not be further from the truth.
They would have you believe that J. Garcia was brought in to replace Russell which also could not be further from the truth. To me there is nothing worse then to have people writing about the NFL that try to portray themselves as some sort of expert that are anything but.
I have just read a post on ProFootballTalk where an Ambulance Chaser turned wannabe NFL expert wrote the following about J Russell. I am paraphrasing but he implies that Russell is a bust and Garcia was brought in to replace Russell and will do so by the third game of the season.
The reason I go to the site above is that they take the time to go around and repost NFL information from all the media sources. It saves me a lot of time finding most of the information in one place. It is when the owner puts up his youtube video, and plays ESPN Sports Desk and trying to come off as an NFL expert that I have to laugh.
A blind man can see from what the Raiders have been doing both in Free Agency and the Draft. By the assistant coaches brought in as well as the type of players. And that includes Jeff Garcia. The offense that is being installed. Everything the Raiders are doing is revolving around their young Franchise QB, a blind man should be able to see it.
And mark my words, JaMarcus Russell will become a very good NFL Quarterback. Sure the Raiders and coach Cable want Russell to get better and become a top flight leader and QB and it is coach Cables job to push his young stud.
But do not let anyone kid you, the Raiders know what they have in Russell and are doing everything they can to put him in a position to succeed.
You have a clown like Trent Dilfer that threw 1 TD to 6 INT's with a QB Rating of 36.3 his first year. In Dilfers second year playing 16 games he threw 4 TD's TO 18 INT's with a QB Rating of 60.1 and the guy talks about Russell's tools?, are you kidding me.
This will be J. Russells 2nd year as the Raiders full time starter and I am expecting to see JaMarcus start to take his place along side the better QB's in the NFL.