It’s a glorious time of year for fans of the NFL. College football has concluded and a whirlwind of speculation, trades, and prospects culminate in the NFL Draft and just like every other NFL team, the Las Vegas Raiders hope they will come out of the selection meeting with a few playmakers.
While this can be a great time for fans, it can revive some pretty deep cuts for Raider fans, as the team’s storied past has brought some legends of the game into the Silver and Black. It also has seen a host of terrible players come through when they needed talent the most.
These are the five worst Raiders first-round picks of all time
Jamarcus Russell – 2008
Rip the band-aid off.
Jamarcus Russell embodies everything that makes an NFL hopeful a complete bust: An incredible college career, a non-existent work ethic, a treasure trove of incidents, a bloated contract, much better players chosen after, and a lack of performance on the field.
The Raiders were sorely in need of a playmaker at quarterback following a dreadful 2006 season and ended up winning the race for the first overall pick. At the time, they had their pick of the litter, and couldn’t have gotten it more wrong. Who else was available besides Russell? Calvin Johnson, Joe Thomas, Adrian Peterson, Darrelle Revis, and Patrick Willis for starters. A hall of fame talent galore and the Raiders took the dud and paid him an albatross of a contract.
Russell was so terrible the NFL restructured their rookie contract scale to remove the heaps of guaranteed money paid to rookies before they stepped foot on the field. He burned the Raiders, future rookies, and the last chance Al Davis had to rebuild the franchise with a premium pick.