Raiders Take Russell with Top Pick

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

The Oakland Raiders have made quarterback JaMarcus Russell the first overall player taken in today's NFL draft.

Russell had an outstanding junior season before leaving LSU a year early, completing nearly 68 percent of his 342 passes for over 3,100 yards, 28 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He also ran for 142 yards on 52 carries and appeared completely recovered from a separated shoulder that forced him to miss most of spring practice prior to last season.

Russell went 32-4 as the Tigers' starting QB. That includes an 11-2 mark in 2005, when the Tigers' schedule was rewritten and altered by Hurricane Katrina. Russell was a semifinalist for the Davey O'Brien Award and named a first team All-SEC by The Associated Press last season.

Russell's potential appears to be limitless. He's a huge quarterback at over 6'5" and 265 pounds with exceptional arm strength and tremendous natural ability. Russell eludes pass rushers and is very tough to take down, allowing him to be an effective runner.

Russell didn't show up in great shape at the Combine and has never really been tested by other QB's competing for his job. He has shown trouble reading defenses and checking secondary receivers.


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