There’s something that has bothered me for a long time and finally I have the means to air the grievance, and don’t you feel special that you are the recipient of the brunt of my wrath? On with the rant…
Without fail, every single year the media talks up certain teams at the top of the NFL draft that NEED to fill a position. Using this logic, they often make the shortcut, Top Need + Top Player at That Position, and they tell you exactly what player that team needs to take.
One problem, what if the top player at said needed position isn’t the guy who will remove you from the depths of pity and elevate you to heights of brilliance?
Case in point: This year the media and experts have chosen the Oakland Raiders and they’ve concluded that the Raiders NEED a quarterback, and therefore MUST take Brady Quinn or JaMarcus Russell.
Talk to any draft expert and it’s case closed, signed sealed delivered, Raiders are taking Quinn or Russell.
I ask the question however, why?
Why should the Raiders take Brady Quinn or JaMarcus Russell?
How great was Brady Quinn against USC? In any Bowl Game? Against Michigan? Is he mobile enough to survive in the NFL with a horrifically brutal offensive line? Will he excel when he’s throwing to Doug Gabriel and Alvis Whitted instead of Jeff Samardzija and Maurice Stovall? You toss Brady Quinn in a Raiders jersey and I don’t like his chances to survive.
Now I ask you what’s so special about JaMarcus Russell that makes you want to take him with the 1st overall pick and pay him to transform the recently decrepit Raiders franchise. Correct me if I’m wrong, but prior to the Sugar Bowl win over Notre Dame, people weren’t talking about JaMarcus as a potential top pick. Ah, it’s the impressive human talent that is attractive — the way Russell can do things nobody else can — namely throw a ball over the goalposts from midfield on his knees. Amazing. They said the same thing about Kyle Boller and his impressive arm strength. While I’m not ready to bash Boller, I’ll ask you this, how times do quarterbacks make throws in games from their knees?
Further, 3 interceptions against good defenses like Florida and Tennessee worry me, as does his 265lb out of shape frame. What does it show about your work ethic and motivation if you can’t get in shape when
the top pick of the draft millions of dollars are at stake? What about two years ago when Russell’s passing yards were in the 100s more routinely than Charlie Frye’s?
Like I said, you may think the Raiders NEED a quarterback, but with that mess of an organization, are they really going to be well off with JaMarcus or Quinn running for their lives, dumping balls off to Courtney Anderson and Ronald Curry for the next three years?
Or, are they going to be better off bringing in a veteran quarterback who can hold the fort down as Lane Kiffin tries to smooth over the Randy Moss and Jerry Porter problems, and the squad rebuilds a putrid offensive line?
Mark my words now, you bring in a rookie quarterback to this team and you will ruin him.
Raiders, for your sake, trade down or draft a different position, perhaps offensive line. That way you’ll be able to properly protect your future investment.
More times than not, the success of a young quarterback in the NFL depends on the ability of the franchise to put the quarterback in a position to succeed rather than the ability of the team to dub the player as a franchise quarterback.
*Editor’s Note: For further convincing, please see the success of the Texans with David Carr, Lions with Joey Harrington, and 49ers with Alex Smith, all selected and paid to be franchise quarterbacks.Google+