Raiders 2007 Draft Evaluation: Russell, Miller, and Others
Most experts agree, that you should give it three years to fully evaluate a draft class.
In wake of JaMarcus Russell's release, why not today?
So, this is my evaluation of the Oakland Raiders draft class of 2007.
Round One (1) QB JaBust Russell, QB/LB/DL (who can tell?,) LSU
I gave him a J because an F doesn't justify how bad he was for the Raiders in his tenure.
In training camp of 2007, he held out till the second week off the season. That in itself, tells you he didn't have a great desire to play.
He started in 2008, and wasn't the worst quarterback in the world for a guy playing in his second season. In fact, Russell ended the 2008 season on a more positive note. He had three good games in a row.
Then 2009 came and Russell performed atrociously. He quickly became one of the most hated bay area sports figures of all time.
When I was there for the Eagles game, everybody I asked about him, almost a had hatred of him.
I felt bad for Russell, only because this wasn't just dislike, it was real hatred. I don't know how anybody would feel if they were hated by more than a million Raider fans across the globe.
Russell never took blame for his failures.
This was his comment after the New York Jets debacle. "I don't think it's me personally. I really don't. It's a bad combination of one guy doesn't do something right one time. Personally I don't think so. Do you?"
Thank goodness Al Davis finally decided to pull the plug on the JaMarcus Russell experiment.
Round Two (38) Zach Miller, TE, Arizona St.
What's weird is that this was one of Al Davis' more brilliant moves. Miller has turned into an extremely reliable option catching the ball. He isn't a shabby blocker either.
If Miller played with a better quarterback the last few years, he'd be a top three tight end. No doubt about it.
Round Three (65) Quentin Moses, DE, Georgia
This is possibly the worst pick of the entire draft. Yeah, I said it.
Moses is the most highly drafted player to ever not make an opening day roster. At least Russell played and failed. What a waste of a incredibly valuable pick.
Round Three (91) Mario Henderson, LT, Florida St.
Say what you will about Henderson, but I think this was a good pick.
He's not wonderful in pass protection, but he has a good frame and still has some development left.
Will he ever be a franchise left tackle? No, but at least he's a serviceable left tackle.
Round Three (99) Johnnie Lee-Higgens, WR/PR Texas El-Paso
JLH actually started off his career very nicely.
In 2008, he returned three punts for touchdowns, and had 22 receptions.
But he definitely took a step back last season. JLB was no better than DHB or DMC. I just had to create a sentence with all three initials.
JLH seemed to be shaken for much of the season by a hit he took on Week One.
His punt returning was god awful, and failed to rectify his route running issues.
Round Four (100) Michael Bush, RB, Louisville
Bush has been a productive back for the Raiders when he gets carries. He sat out all of 2007, but he proved in 2008 that he was capable to handle the load.
I actually like the combo of Bush and McFadden. Bush is more of a power back, while McFadden more of a scat/receiver running back.
Round Four (110) John Bowie, CB, Cincinnati
Bowie never developed mainly because of an injury in 2008 that placed him on IR for much of the season.
Bowie was waived in training camp last season.
Round Five (138) Jay Richardson, DE, Ohio St.
Richardson is a serviceable backup. He hasn't been overly productive, but when called upon he's filled in nicely.
He fell a little out of favor with Cable last season, and didn't get much playing time.
A big weakness of his is against the run.
Round Five (165) Eric Frampton, SS, Washington St.
Frampton didn't even make it to the start of the season. He was known for being a big hitter, but had many weaknesses in other areas.
Round Six (175) Oren O'Neal, FB, Arkansas St.
O'neal started the past year, and played solidly. However he is extremely injury prone. Due to that, and the failure of Oakland's running game, the Raiders cut him last week.
Round Seven (254) Jonathan Holland, WR/CB, Louisiana Tech
Holland has been sparingly used as receiver in his time in Oakland.
He's spent time on the practice squad. In training camp last season, the Raiders asked him to convert to corner-back which is saying something for a team that doesn't have great receivers.
Overall, I give this draft a grade of a D+. Really, the only thing saving this draft from an F is the fantastic picks of Zach Miller and Michael Bush.
When five of your 11 draft picks are not with your team anymore, it's hard to justify it was a good draft.
The JaMarcus Russell error wasn't just an error. It was a travesty of a draft pick. He showed why you really need to love football.
If you're going to play in the league, you can't rely on talent. JaMarcus Russell proved that to the fullest extent of the sentence.
But today marks the start of a new era. That era is called, "Thank God We Cut JaMarcus!"
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