Ah, I remember it like it was yesterday! The year was 2007. Mel was ranting and raving about JaMarcus Russel. One of the strongest arms ever seen. He can throw the football 50 yards from his knees.
Mel loves Al Davis. He consistently refers to Al one of the top personnel geniuses in league history. I believe the schmoozing worked. He sure seemed to talk Al Davis into picking JaMarcus No. 1.
Who can forget that moment? Immediately after the commish announced JaMarcus as the first pick in the 2007 draft, as JaMarcus approached the stage donning Raider gear, Mel was yakking it up somethin' fierce.
"Three years down the road we are looking at a top-five NFL quarterback...potentially a top three."
So said Mel. Famous last words. You can see all here.
Here we are, just three years down the road. Is JaMarcus one of the top five QBs in the league? Did he ever crack the top three?
Not even close. Al just pulled the plug. JaMarcus leaves the Raiders with a career pass efficiency rating of just 65. Goddamn?!?! What happened?!?!?
Now only two questions remain:
- Will JaMarcus Russell eclipse Ryan Leaf as the biggest and most infamous NFL bust of all time?
- Will anybody even invite JaMarcus to camp this coming season?
You see, dear reader, this is why I say that Mel Kiper Jr. is the enemy of rebuilding teams everywhere. This is why ESPN added Todd McShay to the mix. This is why so many like me seek Mike Mayock's counsel on these questions.