Here is my analysis of JaMarcus Russell, the quarterback of the Oakland Raiders:
1) Arm Strength: A
Even though he is entering only his second year in the NFL, many scouts already believe that JaMarcus Russell has one of the strongest arms ever by a quarterback. However, his ability to utilize his powerful arm in relevant situations is still an unknown commodity.
2) Arm Accuracy: C+
While assessing Russell’s accuracy is extremely difficult to do considering his lack of playing time in the NFL, I believe that a C+ is a fair assessment of his current abilities. JaMarcus will have to greatly improve his accuracy in order to become the quarterback that everyone hopes he will be.
3) Release: B+
JaMarcus has the ability to get rid of the ball with ease, and he can hit targets downfield without taking too large of a stride. This quality should prove extremely valuable to Russell throughout his tenure within the NFL.
4) Mobility: B
JaMarcus showed the ability to move outside of the pocket very well at LSU, and it is fair to assume that he will be able to do more of the same at the NFL level. Furthermore, Russell’s size and power will allow him to run through some of the smaller tacklers in a way that most other quarterbacks would never be able to do.
5) Awareness: C
I do not believe that JaMarcus has the on-field awareness yet to lead a team to the upper ranks of the NFL. However, this quality will improve over time, as most quarterbacks tend to improve their awareness with experience.
6) Durability: A-
At any level of football, 260-pound quarterbacks are hard to find. For this reason, it is fair to assume that Russell’s body should be able to endure a greater amount of punishment than a standard 210-pound quarterback would be able to bear. However, Russell still has yet to prove this quality over a long period of time in the NFL.
7) Leadership: B-
While it is especially hard to judge the leadership of a quarterback with as limited experience in the NFL as Russell has, I believe that my current assessment is accurate at this point in his career. As JaMarcus’ abilities and experience grow as a starting quarterback in the NFL, I believe his leadership abilities will do so as well.
8) Toughness: A-
As referenced earlier, Russell is an absolute mammoth of a quarterback, weighing in at over 260 pounds. In addition, Russell’s willingness to both hang in the pocket and take punishment as well as scramble to the outside and fight for tough yards would suggest that JaMarcus is a very tough quarterback. However, in the end, this is one aspect of the position that is best assessed through longevity.