LSU quarterback JaMarcus Russell (left) ended his junior season in style, creaming Brady Quinn (right) and Notre Dame at the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans. Now all talk turned to whether Russell would stay for another year or go to the NFL.
He soon declared his intentions to try his luck in the National Football League.
Now, his decision was probably better for backup quarterback Matt Flynn and LSU, because the next season Flynn, a senior, led LSU to its second national championship and was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the 2008 NFL Draft.
Had Russell stayed, Flynn wouldn't have been able to start and probably wouldn't be in the NFL right now, and LSU might not have won that championship against Ohio State in what was basically a home game at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans.
So, we know that Russell's choice was good for his alma mater and his backup, but was his choice good for him and the Oakland Raiders?
Russell and Brady Quinn of Notre Dame were considered to be the first and second picks of the 2007 NFL Draft. The Raiders possessed the first pick and the Browns the second pick. After Notre Dame's Sugar Bowl fiasco, Russell started emerging as the first pick favorite.
On the day of the draft, Russell was chosen by the Raiders and Quinn was drafted by the Browns—just not with the second pick. Quinn dropped all the way to the 21st pick, where the Browns had another pick, and he was soon headed for Cleveland.
In their rookie seasons, Russell and Quinn didn't play much. The Raiders started veteran Daunte Culpepper instead, and the Browns turned to Derek Anderson, who surprised the NFL by leading the Browns to a 10-6 record. But now, Culpepper is gone and Anderson has fizzled out, so both Sugar Bowl brothers had to start their NFL careers in earnest this season.
Out of three games started this year, Quinn is 45 of 89 for 239 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions.
Russell has started 14 games this season and has completed 184 passes out of 347 attempts for 2,275 yards, 11 touchdowns, and seven interceptions.
Not exactly numbers worthy of first round draft picks, especially the first overall pick.
Quinn looked to be progressing pretty well until he suffered an injury, and the Browns had to turn to Ken Dorsey and Bruce Gradkowski to try to lead them to victory.
Russell seems to have been progressing, slowly if any at all. He seems to be confident in his ability more than last season though.
So the question remains as it did before the 2007 draft: Russell or Quinn—who is better?