Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 4/12/12

For the past four years or so, the Oakland Raiders have been bombarded with criticism for drafting one of the biggest NFL flops of all time in JaMarcus Russell. Much of the criticism has been thrown at JaMarcus himself — and rightfully so — but the Raiders have faced their fair share of ridicule for the pick. What we tend to forget, however, is that there are a number of other teams who would have made the exact same move. As former Ravens coach Brian Billick reminded us this week, Russell was seen by many teams as a sure thing.

“We did a pretty decent job (of drafting), and obviously they continue to do a phenomenal job in Baltimore, with Ozzie Newsome and his group,” Billick said on ESPN Radio according to Pro Football Talk. “JaMarcus Russell was the highest-rated player I’ve ever seen on any of our boards. So we all missed on JaMarcus Russell. Make no mistake.”

The No. 2 overall pick in the 2007 draft was Calvin Johnson and the No. 7 pick was Adrian Peterson, so in hindsight they clearly should have been the highest-rated players. Patrick Willis was taken 11th and Darrelle Revis 14th. As we all know, that is the nature of drafting in the NFL.

The Ravens had the 29th pick in 2007 and knew they were in no position to draft Russell, but Billick’s assertion is a reminder that Oakland was not the only team who was high on the former LSU star. If he was the highest-rated player Billick ever saw during his time in Baltimore, that means he was seen as more of a sure thing than guys like Drew Brees, Philip Rivers, and Eli Manning. In retrospect, the Raiders made the obvious choice and probably wish they would have had a lower pick.

Photo credit: Kirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Magic to bench Victor Oladipo, start Channing Frye

10 unheralded NFL players set to make a major impact in Week 12

Top 10 matchups for Week 12 of the NFL season

Tyrann Mathieu says Blaine Gabbert has a ‘better grip on what’s going on’

NCAA frees Kansas blue chipper Cheick Diallo

Rockets hold in-season training camp in attempt to rebound from disastrous start


Kansas City Chiefs: No Jamaal Charles, no problem

How the Warriors can win 72 games

Frank Gifford suffered from CTE, family announces

Syracuse basketball gets one scholarship per year back

LeBron James says his back feels better than it did a year ago

Sean Payton on firing Rob Ryan: Status quo ‘would be madness’

5 outrageous predictions for Week 12 of the NFL season

How the Detroit Lions became the face of football on Thanksgiving Day

The 10 most disappointed fan bases of the 2015 college football season

Jimmy Butler wants Mason Plumlee to pay his $2,500 fine

Jose Bautista's bat flip inspires a holiday sweater

The Kristaps Porzingis comparison project

What’s next for Johnny Manziel and the Cleveland Browns?

Gisele Bundchen asks Tom Brady ‘all the time’ why he still plays football

Highlighting the biggest NFL games of Week 12

Greg Olsen calls Jason Witten 'the epitome of a pro'

Are Sidney Crosby and Mario Lemieux growing apart?

Stop sleeping on Giannis Antetokounmpo

Worst-case scenarios for end of college football season

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Top 10 matchups for Week 12 of the NFL season

The 10 most disappointed fan bases of the 2015 CFB season

Gronk: Takes mental toughness not to overeat on Thanksgiving

Blue Jays fans create website in effort to keep David Price

The five most overrated teams in the Week 13 coaches' poll

10 storylines for Week 13 of the college football season

Ranking the 10 best games of 2015 college football rivalry week

Examining the Mavericks' hot start

Johnny Bench(ed): Manziel demoted to third string

Mike Trout, four years in

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker