Al Davis's New Best Friend: JaMarcus Russell

The Oakland Raiders, with the 1st overall selection, take JaMarcus Russell, QB, LSU. Mike Tanier of Football Outsiders tells you all about it.

Russell can throw a football 60 yards while seated. That'll come in handy if he goes on a Golden Corral binge an hour before kickoff. At 265-pounds and growing like Dow Jones Industrial Average, Russell is big enough to be his own blocker, another skill that will help him in Oakland. At least the big guy's appetite keeps him out of trouble: if he goes to Vegas, it's for the buffets, not to make it rain in champagne rooms.

Russell will never be a target for the league's discipline policy unless Commissioner Clampdown adds ranch dressing to the list of controlled substances. Look, I'm not saying the kid's fat, but at LSU Pro Day, receiver Dwayne Bowe (a walking Greek status) worked out shirtless, while Russell wore a big gray kimono from the Marlon Brando consignment gallery.



But seriously folks, I'm required by law to describe Russell's arm as a "Howitzer," and I am also contractually obligated to mention that Al Davis likes the vertical passing attack, for which Russell is ideally suited. What new Raiders coach Lil' Lane Kiffen wants doesn't matter; it's just a good thing that the Raiders drafted before 1:00 PM, because Kiffen starts fussing if he misses his afternoon nap.

Russell joins a long list of young quarterbacks who developed into superstars with the Raiders. There's Andrew Walt ... uh, no, but there's Todd Marino ... um, Marques Tui ... er, Marc Wil ... eh, Billy Joe ... wait ... Ken Stabler, 35 years ago! On the bright side, though, at least Russell will get to work with a real offensive coordinator (Greg Knapp), not that Basil Fawlty guy they had last year.