Kiffin, hired as Ole Miss' new head coach in December, spoke to ESPN's The Dan LeBatard Show with Stugotz about wanting the now-Las Vegas Raiders to draft receiver Calvin Johnson instead of JaMarcus Russell with the first overall pick (h/t ProFootballTalk):
"This is nothing against JaMarcus. It was midnight the night before the draft. I said, 'We're going to pay this guy $63 million and he's not ready for it.' I said I wouldn’t be ready for it at 21. He's not ready for that and hasn't played very much. And Mr. Davis is obsessed with the Sugar Bowl game when he beat Notre Dame. He watched that game on TV so he was just obsessed with that.
"Calvin Johnson was there. I said, Calvin Johnson is the best receiver I've ever seen, ever, work out in my life. This guy is going to be one of the best ever. But he was just set in his mind, and obviously it was his franchise, so that's the direction we went."
Russell had led No. 4 LSU to a 41-14 win over No. 11 Notre Dame in the Sugar Bowl that January. He went 21-of-34 for 332 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
Russell fizzled quickly once he entered the NFL, lasting just 31 games across three seasons with the Raiders.
Johnson, meanwhile, did go on to become one of the best receivers in league history after the Detroit Lions snagged him at No. 2 overall behind Russell. The Georgia Tech product recorded at least 1,000 yards receiving in seven of his nine seasons, including an all-time record for receiving yards in a single season with 1,964 yards on 122 catches in 2012.
The three-time All-Pro surprisingly retired in March 2016 having broken several records.
Johnson finished with 11,619 yards and 83 touchdowns on 731 catches across 135 career games.
Kiffin has as strong a case as anybody has ever had to say I told you so.